Efficacy and safety of aerosolized intra-tracheal dornase alfa administration in patients with SARS-CoV-2-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVES Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may trigger severe pneumonia in coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) patients through release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) and recruitment of neutrophils in the lungs. Activated neutrophils induce inflammation and severe alveolar injury by releasing neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The backbones of many DAMPs and NETs are made of extracellular, cell-free DNA decorated with highly toxic compounds such as elastase, myeloperoxidase and citrullinated histones. Dornase alfa is a FDA-approved recombinant human DNAse 1 for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, which cleaves extracellular DNA and may break up cell-free DNA, loosening sticky mucus in the distal airways and reducing NETs-induced toxicity on alveolar pneumocytes. The COVIDornase trial intends to define the impact of aerosolized intra-tracheal dornase alfa administration on the severity and progression of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients. This drug might make lung mucus thinner and looser, promoting improved clearance of secretions and reduce extracellular double-stranded DNA-induced hyperinflammation in alveoli, preventing further damage to the lungs. TRIAL DESIGN COVIDornase is a prospective, randomized, controlled, 2-arm (1:1 ratio), multicentric, open-label clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS The study will recruit mechanically ventilated patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit (ICU) in the recruiting centres (at the time of writing: The Rothschild foundation hospital in Paris, the Strasbourg university hospitals, and Metz-Thionville hospital) who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and meet ARDS criteria. INCLUSION CRITERIA - Adult patient (age ≥ 18 years old); - Hospitalized in ICU; - With severe COVID-19 pneumonia and ARDS according to Berlin criteria (PaO2/FiO2 < 300 and PEEP > 5 cmH2O); - Intubated for less than 8 days; - With an anticipated duration of mechanical ventilation > 48 hours; - Carrier of an arterial catheter; - For whom 4 PaO2/FiO2 values over the preceding 24 hours are available; NON-INCLUSION CRITERIA - Known hypersensitivity to dornase alfa or any of its excipients; - Pregnant or breastfeeding status; - Patient under legal protection. INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR Intervention 1, Study group Dornase alfa (Pulmozyme®, Roche, Switzerland) will be administered by aerosol, at a dose of 2500 IU twice daily, 12 hours apart, for 7 consecutive days, using a vibrating mesh nebulizer (Aerogen Solo®, Aerogen, Ireland). The remainder of the management will be performed in accordance with good clinical practice, including mechanical ventilation (protective ventilation, PEEP > 5 cmH2O, tracheal balloon pressure check every 4 hours or automatic device, 30° head of the bed elevation, tidal volume 6-8mL/kg, plateau pressure < 30 cmH2O), neuromuscular blockers if necessary, prone position if PaO2/FiO2 < 150, early enteral nutrition, glycemic control and a sedation protocol based on the RASS score. Intervention 2, Comparator Patients will receive usual care in accordance with good practice (as detailed above), without aerosols. MAIN OUTCOMES The primary outcome is the occurrence of at least one grade improvement between D0 (inclusion) and D7 in the ARDS scale severity (Berlin criteria). For instance from "severe" to "moderate" or from "moderate" to "mild". RANDOMISATION All consecutive patients meeting the inclusion criteria will be randomised 1:1 using an eCRF-based, computer-generated randomisation table, either to the dornase alfa arm or to the control arm. An interim analysis will be performed after inclusion of 20 patients. Inclusions may be stopped at the interim analysis per data safety and monitoring board (DSMB) advice, if statistical analyses conclude on the futility or efficacy of the intervention or by other DSMB decision. BLINDING (MASKING): The participants and caregivers will not be blinded to study group assignment. Those assessing the outcomes will be blinded to study group assignment. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): Fifty patients will be randomized to each group, 100 patients in total. TRIAL STATUS Protocol version number 2, April 29th, 2020. Recruitment is ongoing. The trial started recruitment on the 21st April 2020. We estimate recruitment will finish August 21st 2020. TRIAL REGISTRATION The trial was registered in ClinicalTrials.gov on 21 April 2020, updated on 8 May 2020. Trial registration number is NCT04355364. FULL PROTOCOL The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated. This Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.
Anti-HCV and anti-malaria agent, potential candidates to repurpose for coronavirus infection: Virtual screening, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics simulation study.
Life sciences. 2020;:118205
AIMS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has appeared in Wuhan, China but the fast transmission has led to its widespread prevalence in various countries, which has made it a global concern. Another concern is the lack of definitive treatment for this disease. The researchers tried different treatment options which are not specific. The current study aims to identify potential small molecule inhibitors against the main protease protein of SARS-CoV-2 by the computational approach. MAIN METHODS In this study, a virtual screening procedure employing docking of the two different datasets from the ZINC database, including 1615 FDA approved drugs and 4266 world approved drugs were used to identify new potential small molecule inhibitors for the newly released crystal structure of main protease protein of SARS-CoV-2. In the following to validate the docking result, molecular dynamics simulations were applied on selected ligands to identify the behavior and stability of them in the binding pocket of the main protease in 150 nanoseconds (ns). Furthermore, binding energy using the MMPBSA approach was also calculated. KEY FINDINGS The result indicates that simeprevir (Hepatitis C virus NS3/4A protease inhibitor) and pyronaridine (antimalarial agent) could fit well to the binding pocket of the main protease and because of some other beneficial features including broad-spectrum antiviral properties and ADME profile, they might be a promising drug candidate for repurposing to the treatment of COVID-19. SIGNIFICANCE Simeprevir and pyronaridine were selected by the combination of virtual screening and molecular dynamics simulation approaches as a potential candidate for treatment of COVID-19.
Containing COVID-19 by Matching Messages on Social Distancing to Emergent Mindsets-The Case of North America.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;(21)
Public compliance with social distancing is key to containing COVID-19, yet there is a lack of knowledge on which communication 'messages' drive compliance. Respondents (224 Canadians and Americans) rated combinations of messages about compliance, systematically varied by an experimental design. Independent variables were perceived risk; the agent communicating the policy; specific social distancing practices; and methods to enforce compliance. Response patterns to each message suggest three mindset segments in each country reflecting how a person thinks. Two mindsets, the same in Canada and the US, were 'tell me exactly what to do,' and 'pandemic onlookers.' The third was 'bow to authority' in Canada, and 'tell me how' in the US. Each mindset showed different messages strongly driving compliance. To effectively use messaging about compliance, policy makers may assign any person or group in the population to the appropriate mindset segment by using a Personal Viewpoint Identifier that we developed.
Metabolic Impacts of Confinement during the COVID-19 Pandemic Due to Modified Diet and Physical Activity Habits.
While the detrimental effects of a chronic positive energy balance due to a sedentary lifestyle have been well established, the impacts of a short period of abruptly reduced physical activity and overeating arising from strict confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic will soon start to emerge. To reasonably anticipate major consequences according to the available evidence, we hereby review the literature for studies that have explored the health impacts of several weeks of a reduction in physical activity and daily step-count combined with modified eating habits. These studies identify as main metabolic consequences increases in insulin resistance, total body fat, abdominal fat and inflammatory cytokines. All these factors have been strongly associated with the development of metabolic syndrome, which in turn increases the risk of multiple chronic diseases. A plausible mechanism involved in these impacts could be a positive energy balance promoted by maintaining usual dietary intake while reducing energy expenditure. This means that just as calorie intake restriction could help mitigate the deleterious impacts of a bout of physical inactivity, overeating under conditions of home confinement is very likely to exacerbate these consequences. Moreover, hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease have been identified as potential risk factors for more severely ill patients with COVID-19. Thus, adequate control of metabolic disorders could be important to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19.
Keeping people with epilepsy safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
OBJECTIVES To provide information on the effect of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on people with epilepsy and provide consensus recommendations on how to provide the best possible care for people with epilepsy while avoiding visits to urgent care facilities and hospitalizations during the novel coronavirus pandemic. METHODS The authors developed consensus statements in 2 sections. The first was "How should we/clinicians modify our clinical care pathway for people with epilepsy during the COVID-19 pandemic?" The second was "What general advice should we give to people with epilepsy during this crisis? The authors individually scored statements on a scale of -10 (strongly disagree) to +10 (strongly agree). Five of 11 recommendations for physicians and 3/5 recommendations for individuals/families were rated by all the authors as 7 or above (strongly agree) on the first round of rating. Subsequently, a teleconference was held where statements for which there was a lack of strong consensus were revised. RESULTS After revision, all consensus recommendations received a score of 7 or above. The recommendations focus on administration of as much care as possible at home to keep people with epilepsy out of health care facilities, where they are likely to encounter COVID-19 (including strategies for rescue therapy), as well as minimization of risk of seizure exacerbation through adherence, and through ensuring a regular supply of medication. We also provide helpful links to additional helpful information for people with epilepsy and health providers. CONCLUSION These recommendations may help health care professionals provide optimal care to people with epilepsy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Antiviral treatment for COVID-19: the evidence supporting remdesivir.
Clinical medicine (London, England). 2020;(6):e215-e217
The emergence of the novel beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic has generated a rapidly evolving research landscape in the search for new therapeutic agents. The intravenous antiviral drug remdesivir has in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 and now studies have reported its clinical efficacy, demonstrating shorter time to recovery in hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19. Adverse event rates were low and remdesivir has now received conditional marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency. An interim clinical commissioning policy is in place in the UK. These studies make remdesivir the first antiviral drug able to alter the natural history of severe COVID-19, and a benchmark for the comparison of new therapies in the future. Ongoing studies are investigating its use in early mild/moderate COVID-19, alternative formulations, and the combination of remdesivir with immunomodulatory agents.
Thyroid cancer in the age of COVID-19.
Endocrine-related cancer. 2020;(11):R407-R416
COVID-19 has modified the way we practice medicine. For thyroid cancer, there have been several significant impacts. First, the diagnosis has been delayed due to social isolation, reduced access to investigations and staff redeployment. Secondly, treatment planning has needed to take into account the risk to patients and/or staff of nosocomial transmission of the virus. Finally, there are some specific concerns with respect to interactions between the virus, its treatments and cancer. This mini-review aims to address each of these impacts and to provide some guidance and confidence to our patients and colleagues during this challenging time.
Randomised controlled trial comparing efficacy and safety of high versus low Low-Molecular Weight Heparin dosages in hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and coagulopathy not requiring invasive mechanical ventilation (COVID-19 HD): a structured summary of a study protocol.
OBJECTIVES To assess whether high doses of Low Molecular Weight Heparin (LMWH) (i.e. Enoxaparin 70 IU/kg twice daily) compared to standard prophylactic dose (i.e., Enoxaparin 4000 IU once day), in hospitalized patients with COVID19 not requiring Invasive Mechanical Ventilation [IMV], are: a)more effective in preventing clinical worsening, defined as the occurrence of at least one of the following events, whichever comes first: 1.Death2.Acute Myocardial Infarction [AMI]3.Objectively confirmed, symptomatic arterial or venous thromboembolism [TE]4.Need of either: a.Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (Cpap) or Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) orb.IMV in patients who at randomisation were receiving standard oxygen therapy5.IMV in patients who at randomisation were receiving non-invasive mechanical ventilationb)Similar in terms of major bleeding risk TRIAL DESIGN Multicentre, randomised controlled, superiority, open label, parallel group, two arms (1:1 ratio), in-hospital study. PARTICIPANTS Inpatients will be recruited from 7 Italian Academic and non-Academic Internal Medicine Units, 2 Infectious Disease Units and 1 Respiratory Disease Unit. INCLUSION CRITERIA (ALL REQUIRED): 1. Age > 18 and < 80 years 2. Positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic (on pharyngeal swab of deep airways material) 3. Severe pneumonia defined by the presence of at least one of the following criteria: a.Respiratory Rate ≥25 breaths /minb.Arterial oxygen saturation≤93% at rest on ambient airc.PaO2/FiO2 ≤300 mmHg 4. Coagulopathy, defined by the presence of at least one of the following criteria: a.D-dimer >4 times the upper level of normal reference rangeb.Sepsis-Induced Coagulopathy (SIC) score >4 5. No need of IMV EXCLUSION CRITERIA 1. Age <18 and >80 years 2. IMV 3. Thrombocytopenia (platelet count < 80.000 mm3) 4. Coagulopathy: INR >1.5, aPTT ratio > 1.4 5. Impaired renal function (eGFR calculated by CKD-EPI Creatinine equation < 30 ml/min) 6. Known hypersensitivity to enoxaparin 7. History of heparin induced thrombocytopenia 8. Presence of an active bleeding or a pathology susceptible of bleeding in presence of anticoagulation (e.g. recent haemorrhagic stroke, peptic ulcer, malignant cancer at high risk of haemorrhage, recent neurosurgery or ophthalmic surgery, vascular aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations) 9. Concomitant anticoagulant treatment for other indications (e.g. atrial fibrillation, venous thromboembolism, prosthetic heart valves) 10. Concomitant double antiplatelet therapy 11. Administration of therapeutic doses of LMWH, fondaparinux, or unfractionated heparin (UFH) for more than 72 hours before randomization; prophylactic doses are allowed 12. Pregnancy or breastfeeding or positive pregnancy test 13. Presence of other severe diseases impairing life expectancy (e.g. patients are not expected to survive 28 days given their pre-existing medical condition) 14. Lack or withdrawal of informed consent INTERVENTION AND COMPARATOR Control Group (Low-Dose LMWH): patients in this group will be administered Enoxaparin (Inhixa®) at standard prophylactic dose (i.e., 4000 UI subcutaneously once day). Intervention Group (High-Dose LMWH): patients in this group will be administered Enoxaparin (Inhixa®) at dose of 70 IU/kg every 12 hours, as reported in the following table. This dose is commonly used in Italy when a bridging strategy is required for the management of surgery or invasive procedures in patients taking anti-vitamin K oral anticoagulants Body Weight (kg)Enoxaparin dose every 12 hours (IU)<50200050-69400070-89600090-1108000>11010000 The treatment with Enoxaparin will be initiated soon after randomization (maximum allowed starting time 12h after randomization). The treatment will be administered every 12 hours in the intervention group and every 24 hours in the control group. Treatments will be administered in the two arms until hospital discharge or the primary outcomes detailed below occur. MAIN OUTCOMES Primary Efficacy Endpoint: Clinical worsening, defined as the occurrence of at least one of the following events, whichever comes first: 1.Death2.Acute Myocardial Infarction [AMI]3.Objectively confirmed, symptomatic arterial or venous thromboembolism [TE]4.Need of either: a.Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (Cpap) or Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) orb.IMV in patients who at randomisation were in standard oxygen therapy by delivery interfaces5.Need for IMV, in patients who at randomisation were in Cpap or NIV Time to the occurrence of each of these events will be recorded. Clinical worsening will be analysed as a binary outcome as well as a time-to-event one. Secondary Efficacy Endpoints: Any of the following events occurring within the hospital stay 1.Death2.Acute Myocardial Infarction [AMI]3.Objectively confirmed, symptomatic arterial or venous thromboembolism [TE]4.Need of either: a.Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (Cpap) or Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV) orb.IMV in patients who at randomisation were in standard oxygen therapy by delivery interfaces5.Need for IMV in patients who at randomisation were in Cpap or NIV6.Improvement of laboratory parameters of disease severity, including: o D-dimer levelo Plasma fibrinogen levelso Mean Platelet Volumeo Lymphocyte/Neutrophil ratioo IL-6 plasma levels MORTALITY AT 30 DAYS Information about patients' status will be sought in those who are discharged before 30 days on Day 30 from randomisation. Time to the occurrence of each of these events will be recorded. Each of these events will be analysed as a binary outcome and as a time-to-event one. Primary safety endpoint: Major bleeding, defined as an acute clinically overt bleeding associated with one or more of the following: Decrease in haemoglobin of 2 g/dl or more;Transfusion of 2 or more units of packed red blood cells;Bleeding that occurs in at least one of the following critical sites [intracranial, intraspinal, intraocular (within the corpus of the eye; thus, a conjunctival bleed is not an intraocular bleed), pericardial, intra-articular, intramuscular with compartment syndrome, or retroperitoneal];Bleeding that is fatal (defined as a bleeding event that was the primary cause of death or contributed directly to death);Bleeding that necessitates surgical intervention Time to the occurrence of each of these events will be recorded. Each of these events will be analysed as a binary outcome and as a time-to-event one. Secondary safety endpoint: Clinically Relevant non-major bleeding, defined as an acute clinically overt bleeding that does not meet the criteria for major and consists of: 1.Any bleeding compromising hemodynamic2.Spontaneous hematoma larger than 25 cm2, or 100 cm2 if there was a traumatic cause3.Intramuscular hematoma documented by ultrasonography4.Epistaxis or gingival bleeding requiring tamponade or other medical intervention5.Bleeding from venipuncture for >5 minutes6.Haematuria that was macroscopic and was spontaneous or lasted for more than 24 hours after invasive procedures7.Haemoptysis, hematemesis or spontaneous rectal bleeding requiring endoscopy or other medical intervention8.Any other bleeding requiring temporary cessation of a study drug. Time to the occurrence of each of these events will be recorded. Each of these events will be analysed as a binary outcome and as a time-to-event one. RANDOMISATION Randomisation (with a 1:1 randomisation ratio) will be centrally performed by using a secure, web-based system, which will be developed by the Methodological and Statistical Unit at the Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria of Modena. Randomisation stratified by 4 factors: 1) Gender (M/F); 2) Age (<75/≥75 years); 3) BMI (<30/≥30); 4) Comorbidities (0-1/>2) with random variable block sizes will be generated by STATA software. The web-based system will guarantee the allocation concealment. Blinding (masking) The study is conceived as open-label: patients and all health-care personnel involved in the study will be aware of the assigned group. NUMBERS TO BE RANDOMISED (SAMPLE SIZE): The target sample size is based on the hypothesis that LMWH administered at high doses versus low doses will significantly reduce the risk of clinical worsening. The overall sample size in this study is expected to be 300 with 150 in the Low-Dose LMWH control group and 150 in the High-Dose LMWH intervention group, recruited over 10-11 months. Assuming an alpha of 5% (two tailed) and a percentage of patients who experience clinical worsening in the control group being between 25% and 30%, the study will have 80% power to detect at least 50% relative reduction in the risk of death between low and high doses of heparin. TRIAL STATUS Protocol version 1.2 of 11/05/2020. Recruitment start (expected): 08/06/2020 Recruitment finish (expected): 30/04/2021 Trial registration EudraCT 2020-001972-13, registered on April 17th, 2020 Full protocol The full protocol is attached as an additional file, accessible from the Trials website (Additional file 1). In the interest in expediting dissemination of this material, the familiar formatting has been eliminated; this Letter serves as a summary of the key elements of the full protocol.
Second Wave of COVID-19 Global Pandemic and Athletes' Confinement: Recommendations to Better Manage and Optimize the Modified Lifestyle.
International journal of environmental research and public health. 2020;(22)
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease that has spread globally, resulting in the ongoing pandemic. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19. Preventive measures to reduce the chances of contagion consist mainly of confinement, avoiding crowded places, social distancing, masks, and applying strict personal hygiene as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). After the first wave of infection in many countries, the potential effects of relaxing containment and physical distancing control measures suggest that as a result of these measures, a second wave of COVID-19 appears probable in these countries. In sport, the period of self-isolation, and quarantine, for COVID-19 affects the physical preparation of athletes as well as their mental health and quality of life to an even greater extent (i.e., nutrition, sleep, healthy lifestyle), and thus, relevant and practical recommendations are needed to help alleviate these physical and mental health concerns. Our review aims to summarize the physiological and psychological effects of detraining associated with athletes' confinement during the proposed second wave of COVID-19. This article also proposes answers to questions that concern the advantages and disadvantages of different types of social media platforms, the importance of nutrition, and the effects of sleep disturbance on the health and modified lifestyle of athletes during this worldwide pandemic. Thus, this review provides some general guidelines to better manage their modified lifestyle and optimally maintain their physical and mental fitness with respect to measures taken during this restrictive proposed second wave of the COVID-19 confinement period.
Understanding the COVID-19 pandemic from a gender perspective.
Taiwanese journal of obstetrics & gynecology. 2020;(6):801-807
Under the threat of the new coronavirus pandemic, women have been uniquely impacted financially, economically, and socially. However, in terms of disease incidence and lethality, women perform better than men. The main reason is that, in addition to women's own hormonal protection, women's immune systems are superior to those of men. Women also exhibit more protective behavior (e.g., hand-washing) and more closely follow protection guidelines, which greatly reduces the chance of infection. In the future, more studies that adopt a gender perspective are needed to understand the various dilemmas faced by women in infectious diseases and pandemics; only then can women demonstrate better outcomes.