Beneficial effects of novel aureobasidium pullulans strains produced beta-1,3-1,6 glucans on interleukin-6 and D-dimer levels in COVID-19 patients; results of a randomized multiple-arm pilot clinical study.
Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie. 2022;:112243
OBJECTIVE In this pilot clinical study, we report the beneficial effects of beta glucans derived from two strains AFO-202 and N-163 of a black yeast Aureobasidium pullulans on the biomarkers for cytokine storm and coagulopathy in COVID-19 patients. METHODS A total of 24 RT-PCR positive COVID-19 patients were recruited and randomly divided into three groups (Gr): Gr. 1 control (n = 8) - Standard treatment; Gr. 2: Standard treatment + AFO-202 beta glucan (n = 8); and Gr. 3, Standard treatment + combination of AFO-202 and N-163 beta glucans (n = 8) for 30 days. RESULTS There was no mortality or requirement of ventilation of the subjects in any of the groups. There was a decrease in D-Dimer values (751 ng/ml to 143.89 ng/ml) and IL-6 values (7.395-3.16 pg/ml) in Gr. 1 in 15 days but the levels increased to abnormal levels on day 30 (D-Dimer: 202.5 ng/ml; IL-6 55.37 pg/ml); which steadily decreased up to day 30 in groups 2 (D-dimer: 560.99 ng/dl to 79.615; IL-6: 26.18-3.41 pg/ml) and 3 (D-dimer: 1614 ng/dl to 164.25 ng/dl; IL-6: 6.25-0.5 pg/ml). The same trend was observed with ESR. LCR and LeCR increased while NLR decreased significantly in Gr. 3. CD4 + and CD8 + T cell count showed relatively higher increase in Gr.3. There was no difference in CRP within the groups. CONCLUSION As these beta glucans are well known food supplements with a track record for safety, larger multi-centric clinical studies are recommended to validate their use as an adjunct in the management of COVID-19 and the ensuing long COVID-19 syndrome.
Tocilizumab for treating COVID-19: a systemic review and meta-analysis of retrospective studies.
European journal of clinical pharmacology. 2021;(3):311-319
OBJECTIVES COVID-19 has become a global epidemic, and effective therapies have not been discovered up to now. We conducted this study to explore the effectiveness and safety of tocilizumab recently used for treating COVID-19. METHOD A comprehensive search was conducted (up to September 27, 2020), and 19 eligible records were identified according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The data of the studies were extracted by 2 independent reviewers and were analyzed to evaluate the safety and availability of tocilizumab for treating COVID-19. RESULTS Thirteen retrospective case-control studies (n = 2285 patients) and 6 retrospective single-armed studies (n = 208) were retrieved in this study. In the comparison of tocilizumab treatment group (TCZ) and standard treatment group (ST), significant associations with a lower risk of admission to ICU, use of ventilation, and mortality (OR, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.26~1.09; 0.66, 0.46~0.94; 0.44, 0.36~0.55) were found in the tocilizumab treatment group. What is more, patients treated with tocilizumab had better clinical improvement compared with the patients treated with ST (OR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.96~1.62). After taking tocilizumab, the patients had lower C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell count (WBC), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) (WMD, 95% CI: - 99.66, - 156.24~- 43.09; - 0.95, - 1.8~- 0.11; - 12.58, - 18.88~-6.29) but higher troponin (WMD, 7.61; 95% CI, 3.06~12.15) than before. In addition, tocilizumab did not have significant influence on patients' neutrophil count (Neut), lymphocyte count (Lymp), platelet count (Plt), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and creatine (WMD, 95% CI: - 0.29, - 2.91~2.33; 0.42, - 0.23~1.07; 5.2, - 2.85~13.25; 22.49, - 2.73~47.7; - 44.78, - 93.37~3.81). CONCLUSION Tocilizumab may have potential effectiveness to treat COVID-19 according to the results of this study. However, more large-scale studies are needed for more accurate conclusions.
Anti-interleukin-6 therapies for Covid-19: A systematic review, critical appraisal and meta-analysis.
The National medical journal of India. 2020;(3):152-157
BACKGROUND . Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has emerged as a pandemic by end-January 2020. Of the infected patients, 10%-15% may develop severe or critical illness. So far, no definite treatment is available for Covid-19. Cytokine release syndrome may underlie the pathogenesis of severe and critical disease. Anti-interleukin (IL)-6 therapies are being tried to improve clinical outcomes. METHODS . We did a systematic review to identify the available literature on anti-IL-6 therapies in the treatment of Covid-19 and used the GRADE method to assess the quality of evidence. RESULTS . Four case series and 10 case reports were identified. On critical assessment, we found that these studies reported some beneficial effect of anti-IL-6 therapy, but all the studies had a high risk of bias. The pooled estimate showed that 42% of patients improved but with a very wide confidence interval (CI) (95% CI 1%-91%) and substantial heterogeneity (I2 = 95%). The overall quality of evidence was graded as 'very low'. CONCLUSIONS . Although promising, anti-IL-6 therapy for Covid-19 needs to be tested in randomized controlled trials to provide robust evidence.