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      COVID-19 Infection: Viral Clearance and Antibody Response in Dialysis Patients and Renal Transplant Recipients


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          The coronavirus disease 2019 (CO­VID-19) pandemic is the major current health emergency worldwide, adding a significant burden also to the community of nephrologists for the management of their patients. Here, we analyzed the impact of COVID-19 infection in renal patients to assess the time to viral clearance, together with the production and persistence of IgG and IgM antibody response, in consideration of the altered immune capacity of this fragile population.


          Viral clearance and antibody kinetics were investigated in 49 renal patients recovered from COVID-19 infection: 7 of them with chronic decompensated renal failure, 31 under dialysis treatment, and 11 kidney transplant recipients.


          The time span between the diagnosis of infection and recovery based on laboratory testing (2 negative nasopharyngeal swabs in consecutive days) was 31.7 ± 13.3 days. Three new positive cases were detected from 8 to 13 days following recovery. At the first serological determination after swab negativization, all the patients developed IgG and IgM antibodies. The semiquantitative analysis showed a progressive increase in IgG and a slow reduction in IgM.


          In subjects with decompensated chronic kidney disease, under dialysis and in transplant recipients, viral clearance is lengthened compared to the general population. However, in spite of their common status of immunodepression, all of them were able to produce specific antibodies. These data might provide useful insights for monitoring and planning health-care activities in the weak category of patients with compromised renal function recovered from COVID-19.

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          Most cited references58

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          Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

          Abstract Background Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)
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            Clinical Characteristics of 138 Hospitalized Patients With 2019 Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia in Wuhan, China

            In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical characteristics of affected patients is limited.
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              Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial

              Background Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been found to be efficient on SARS-CoV-2, and reported to be efficient in Chinese COV-19 patients. We evaluate the role of hydroxychloroquine on respiratory viral loads. Patients and methods French Confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in a single arm protocol from early March to March 16th, to receive 600mg of hydroxychloroquine daily and their viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs was tested daily in a hospital setting. Depending on their clinical presentation, azithromycin was added to the treatment. Untreated patients from another center and cases refusing the protocol were included as negative controls. Presence and absence of virus at Day6-post inclusion was considered the end point. Results Six patients were asymptomatic, 22 had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and eight had lower respiratory tract infection symptoms. Twenty cases were treated in this study and showed a significant reduction of the viral carriage at D6-post inclusion compared to controls, and much lower average carrying duration than reported of untreated patients in the literature. Azithromycin added to hydroxychloroquine was significantly more efficient for virus elimination. Conclusion Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron. Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, karger@karger.com )
                26 April 2021
                : 145
                : 4
                : 363-370
                [1 ] aNephrology and Dialysis Unit, AUSL Romagna Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy
                [2 ] bDepartment of Experimental Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), Nephrology, Dialysis and Renal Transplant Unit, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
                [3 ] cNephrology and Dialysis Unit, AUSL Romagna Infermi Hospital, Rimini, Italy
                [4 ] dNephrology and Dialysis Unit, AUSL Romagna S. Maria Delle Croci Hospital, Ravenna, Italy
                [5 ] eUnit of Microbiology, AUSL Romagna Laboratory Pievesestina Cesena (FC), Cesena, Italy
                [6 ] fNephrology, Dialysis and Hypertension Unit, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy
                [7 ] gMedical Direction Unit, AUSL Romagna Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forlì, Italy
                Author notes
                Copyright © 2021 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                : 9 November 2020
                : 9 February 2021
                : 2021
                Page count
                Tables: 3, References: 35, Pages: 8
                Clinical Practice: Research Article

                chronic renal failure,coronavirus disease 2019,dialysis,kidney transplantation,viral clearance


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