Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a 1st wave in Europe from March to May 2020 and a 2nd wave since September 2020. We previously studied 35 hospitalized COVID-19 patients of the 1st wave demonstrating a cytokine storm and the exhaustion of most lymphocyte subpopulations. Herein, we describe the results obtained from COVID-19 patients of the 2nd wave. Methods: We analyzed interleukin (IL)-6 by human-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a large set of lymphocyte subpopulations by flow cytometry in 274 COVID-19 patients hospitalized from September 2020 to May 2021. Results: Patients of 2nd wave compared with those of 1st wave showed lower serum IL-6 levels and a higher number of B and most T lymphocyte subpopulations in advanced stages, in relation with the age and the gender. On the other hand, we observed in 2nd wave patients: (i) a reduction of most lymphocyte subpopulations at mild and moderate stages; (ii) a reduction of natural killer cells and T regulatory cells together with a higher number of activated T helper (TH) 17 lymphocytes in all stages, which were mainly related to steroid and azithromycin therapies before hospitalization. Conclusions: COVID-19 had a less severe impact in patients of the 2nd wave in advanced stages, while the impact appeared more severe in patients of mild and moderate stages, as compared with 1st wave patients. This finding suggests that in COVID-19 patients with milder expression at diagnosis, steroid and azithromycin therapies appear to worsen the immune response against the virus. Furthermore, the cytometric profile may help to drive targeted therapies by monoclonal antibodies to modulate specific IL/lymphocyte inhibition or activation in COVID-19 patients.

Cytometric analysis of patients with COVID-19: what is changed in the second wave?

Scalia G.;Raia M.;Gelzo M.;Cacciapuoti S.;De Rosa A.;Pinchera B.;Scotto R.;Giaccone A.;Mormile M.;Fabbrocini G.;Gentile I.;Parrella R.;Castaldo G.
2021

Abstract

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had a 1st wave in Europe from March to May 2020 and a 2nd wave since September 2020. We previously studied 35 hospitalized COVID-19 patients of the 1st wave demonstrating a cytokine storm and the exhaustion of most lymphocyte subpopulations. Herein, we describe the results obtained from COVID-19 patients of the 2nd wave. Methods: We analyzed interleukin (IL)-6 by human-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a large set of lymphocyte subpopulations by flow cytometry in 274 COVID-19 patients hospitalized from September 2020 to May 2021. Results: Patients of 2nd wave compared with those of 1st wave showed lower serum IL-6 levels and a higher number of B and most T lymphocyte subpopulations in advanced stages, in relation with the age and the gender. On the other hand, we observed in 2nd wave patients: (i) a reduction of most lymphocyte subpopulations at mild and moderate stages; (ii) a reduction of natural killer cells and T regulatory cells together with a higher number of activated T helper (TH) 17 lymphocytes in all stages, which were mainly related to steroid and azithromycin therapies before hospitalization. Conclusions: COVID-19 had a less severe impact in patients of the 2nd wave in advanced stages, while the impact appeared more severe in patients of mild and moderate stages, as compared with 1st wave patients. This finding suggests that in COVID-19 patients with milder expression at diagnosis, steroid and azithromycin therapies appear to worsen the immune response against the virus. Furthermore, the cytometric profile may help to drive targeted therapies by monoclonal antibodies to modulate specific IL/lymphocyte inhibition or activation in COVID-19 patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/866059
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