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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41586-020-03065-Y

Genetic mechanisms of critical illness in Covid-19.

04 Mar 2021-Nature (Nature Publishing Group)-Vol. 591, Iss: 7848, pp 92-98
Abstract: Host-mediated lung inflammation is present1, and drives mortality2, in the critical illness caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Host genetic variants associated with critical illness may identify mechanistic targets for therapeutic development3. Here we report the results of the GenOMICC (Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care) genome-wide association study in 2,244 critically ill patients with COVID-19 from 208 UK intensive care units. We have identified and replicated the following new genome-wide significant associations: on chromosome 12q24.13 (rs10735079, P = 1.65 × 10−8) in a gene cluster that encodes antiviral restriction enzyme activators (OAS1, OAS2 and OAS3); on chromosome 19p13.2 (rs74956615, P = 2.3 × 10−8) near the gene that encodes tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2); on chromosome 19p13.3 (rs2109069, P = 3.98 × 10−12) within the gene that encodes dipeptidyl peptidase 9 (DPP9); and on chromosome 21q22.1 (rs2236757, P = 4.99 × 10−8) in the interferon receptor gene IFNAR2. We identified potential targets for repurposing of licensed medications: using Mendelian randomization, we found evidence that low expression of IFNAR2, or high expression of TYK2, are associated with life-threatening disease; and transcriptome-wide association in lung tissue revealed that high expression of the monocyte–macrophage chemotactic receptor CCR2 is associated with severe COVID-19. Our results identify robust genetic signals relating to key host antiviral defence mechanisms and mediators of inflammatory organ damage in COVID-19. Both mechanisms may be amenable to targeted treatment with existing drugs. However, large-scale randomized clinical trials will be essential before any change to clinical practice. A genome-wide association study of critically ill patients with COVID-19 identifies genetic signals that relate to important host antiviral defence mechanisms and mediators of inflammatory organ damage that may be targeted by repurposing drug treatments.

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394 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA2100433
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The efficacy of interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is unclear. METHODS: We evaluated tocilizumab and sarilumab in an ongoing international, multifactorial, adaptive platform trial. Adult patients with Covid-19, within 24 hours after starting organ support in the intensive care unit (ICU), were randomly assigned to receive tocilizumab (8 mg per kilogram of body weight), sarilumab (400 mg), or standard care (control). The primary outcome was respiratory and cardiovascular organ support-free days, on an ordinal scale combining in-hospital death (assigned a value of -1) and days free of organ support to day 21. The trial uses a Bayesian statistical model with predefined criteria for superiority, efficacy, equivalence, or futility. An odds ratio greater than 1 represented improved survival, more organ support-free days, or both. RESULTS: Both tocilizumab and sarilumab met the predefined criteria for efficacy. At that time, 353 patients had been assigned to tocilizumab, 48 to sarilumab, and 402 to control. The median number of organ support-free days was 10 (interquartile range, -1 to 16) in the tocilizumab group, 11 (interquartile range, 0 to 16) in the sarilumab group, and 0 (interquartile range, -1 to 15) in the control group. The median adjusted cumulative odds ratios were 1.64 (95% credible interval, 1.25 to 2.14) for tocilizumab and 1.76 (95% credible interval, 1.17 to 2.91) for sarilumab as compared with control, yielding posterior probabilities of superiority to control of more than 99.9% and of 99.5%, respectively. An analysis of 90-day survival showed improved survival in the pooled interleukin-6 receptor antagonist groups, yielding a hazard ratio for the comparison with the control group of 1.61 (95% credible interval, 1.25 to 2.08) and a posterior probability of superiority of more than 99.9%. All secondary analyses supported efficacy of these interleukin-6 receptor antagonists. CONCLUSIONS: In critically ill patients with Covid-19 receiving organ support in ICUs, treatment with the interleukin-6 receptor antagonists tocilizumab and sarilumab improved outcomes, including survival. (REMAP-CAP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02735707.).

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Topics: Sarilumab (70%), Interquartile range (50%), Tocilizumab (50%) ... read more

461 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CELL.2021.01.007
18 Feb 2021-Cell
Abstract: The adaptive immune system is important for control of most viral infections. The three fundamental components of the adaptive immune system are B cells (the source of antibodies), CD4+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells. The armamentarium of B cells, CD4+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells has differing roles in different viral infections and in vaccines, and thus it is critical to directly study adaptive immunity to SARS-CoV-2 to understand COVID-19. Knowledge is now available on relationships between antigen-specific immune responses and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Although more studies are needed, a picture has begun to emerge that reveals that CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, and neutralizing antibodies all contribute to control of SARS-CoV-2 in both non-hospitalized and hospitalized cases of COVID-19. The specific functions and kinetics of these adaptive immune responses are discussed, as well as their interplay with innate immunity and implications for COVID-19 vaccines and immune memory against re-infection.

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333 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1002/ANA.26028
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to assess the impact of immunosuppressive and immunomodulatory therapies on the severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). METHODS: We retrospectively collected data of PwMS with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. All the patients had complete follow-up to death or recovery. Severe COVID-19 was defined by a 3-level variable: mild disease not requiring hospitalization versus pneumonia or hospitalization versus intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death. We evaluated baseline characteristics and MS therapies associated with severe COVID-19 by multivariate and propensity score (PS)-weighted ordinal logistic models. Sensitivity analyses were run to confirm the results. RESULTS: Of 844 PwMS with suspected (n = 565) or confirmed (n = 279) COVID-19, 13 (1.54%) died; 11 of them were in a progressive MS phase, and 8 were without any therapy. Thirty-eight (4.5%) were admitted to an ICU; 99 (11.7%) had radiologically documented pneumonia; 96 (11.4%) were hospitalized. After adjusting for region, age, sex, progressive MS course, Expanded Disability Status Scale, disease duration, body mass index, comorbidities, and recent methylprednisolone use, therapy with an anti-CD20 agent (ocrelizumab or rituximab) was significantly associated (odds ratio [OR] = 2.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.18-4.74, p = 0.015) with increased risk of severe COVID-19. Recent use (<1 month) of methylprednisolone was also associated with a worse outcome (OR = 5.24, 95% CI = 2.20-12.53, p = 0.001). Results were confirmed by the PS-weighted analysis and by all the sensitivity analyses. INTERPRETATION: This study showed an acceptable level of safety of therapies with a broad array of mechanisms of action. However, some specific elements of risk emerged. These will need to be considered while the COVID-19 pandemic persists. ANN NEUROL 2021;89:780-789.

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137 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.CELL.2021.02.029
01 Apr 2021-Cell
Abstract: The introduction of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into the human population represents a tremendous medical and economic crisis. Innate immunity-as the first line of defense of our immune system-plays a central role in combating this novel virus. Here, we provide a conceptual framework for the interaction of the human innate immune system with SARS-CoV-2 to link the clinical observations with experimental findings that have been made during the first year of the pandemic. We review evidence that variability in innate immune system components among humans is a main contributor to the heterogeneous disease courses observed for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the disease spectrum induced by SARS-CoV-2. A better understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms observed for cells and soluble mediators involved in innate immunity is a prerequisite for the development of diagnostic markers and therapeutic strategies targeting COVID-19. However, this will also require additional studies addressing causality of events, which so far are lagging behind.

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Topics: Innate immune system (56%), Immune system (53%), Population (53%)

100 Citations


Open accessPosted ContentDOI: 10.1101/2021.01.07.21249390
Anthony C. Gordon1, Anthony C. Gordon2Institutions (2)
07 Jan 2021-medRxiv
Abstract: Background The efficacy of interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is unclear. Methods We evaluated tocilizumab and sarilumab in an ongoing international, multifactorial, adaptive platform trial. Adult patients with Covid-19, within 24 hours of commencing organ support in an intensive care unit, were randomized to receive either tocilizumab (8mg/kg) or sarilumab (400mg) or standard care (control). The primary outcome was an ordinal scale combining in-hospital mortality (assigned −1) and days free of organ support to day 21. The trial uses a Bayesian statistical model with pre-defined triggers to declare superiority, efficacy, equivalence or futility. Results Tocilizumab and sarilumab both met the pre-defined triggers for efficacy. At the time of full analysis 353 patients had been assigned to tocilizumab, 48 to sarilumab and 402 to control. Median organ support-free days were 10 (interquartile range [IQR] −1, 16), 11 (IQR 0, 16) and 0 (IQR −1, 15) for tocilizumab, sarilumab and control, respectively. Relative to control, median adjusted odds ratios were 1.64 (95% credible intervals [CrI] 1.25, 2.14) for tocilizumab and 1.76 (95%CrI 1.17, 2.91) for sarilumab, yielding >99.9% and 99.5% posterior probabilities of superiority compared with control. Hospital mortality was 28.0% (98/350) for tocilizumab, 22.2% (10/45) for sarilumab and 35.8% (142/397) for control. All secondary outcomes and analyses supported efficacy of these IL-6 receptor antagonists. Conclusions In critically ill patients with Covid-19 receiving organ support in intensive care, treatment with the IL-6 receptor antagonists, tocilizumab and sarilumab, improved outcome, including survival. (ClinicalTrials.gov number: NCT02735707)

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Topics: Sarilumab (74%), Intensive care (54%), Tocilizumab (52%)

85 Citations


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94 results found


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1086/519795
Shaun Purcell1, Shaun Purcell2, Benjamin M. Neale3, Benjamin M. Neale2  +14 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: Whole-genome association studies (WGAS) bring new computational, as well as analytic, challenges to researchers. Many existing genetic-analysis tools are not designed to handle such large data sets in a convenient manner and do not necessarily exploit the new opportunities that whole-genome data bring. To address these issues, we developed PLINK, an open-source C/C++ WGAS tool set. With PLINK, large data sets comprising hundreds of thousands of markers genotyped for thousands of individuals can be rapidly manipulated and analyzed in their entirety. As well as providing tools to make the basic analytic steps computationally efficient, PLINK also supports some novel approaches to whole-genome data that take advantage of whole-genome coverage. We introduce PLINK and describe the five main domains of function: data management, summary statistics, population stratification, association analysis, and identity-by-descent estimation. In particular, we focus on the estimation and use of identity-by-state and identity-by-descent information in the context of population-based whole-genome studies. This information can be used to detect and correct for population stratification and to identify extended chromosomal segments that are shared identical by descent between very distantly related individuals. Analysis of the patterns of segmental sharing has the potential to map disease loci that contain multiple rare variants in a population-based linkage analysis.

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22,115 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1101/GR.107524.110
Aaron McKenna1, Matthew Hanna, Eric Banks, Andrey Sivachenko  +7 moreInstitutions (1)
01 Sep 2010-Genome Research
Abstract: Next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) projects, such as the 1000 Genomes Project, are already revolutionizing our understanding of genetic variation among individuals. However, the massive data sets generated by NGS—the 1000 Genome pilot alone includes nearly five terabases—make writing feature-rich, efficient, and robust analysis tools difficult for even computationally sophisticated individuals. Indeed, many professionals are limited in the scope and the ease with which they can answer scientific questions by the complexity of accessing and manipulating the data produced by these machines. Here, we discuss our Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK), a structured programming framework designed to ease the development of efficient and robust analysis tools for next-generation DNA sequencers using the functional programming philosophy of MapReduce. The GATK provides a small but rich set of data access patterns that encompass the majority of analysis tool needs. Separating specific analysis calculations from common data management infrastructure enables us to optimize the GATK framework for correctness, stability, and CPU and memory efficiency and to enable distributed and shared memory parallelization. We highlight the capabilities of the GATK by describing the implementation and application of robust, scale-tolerant tools like coverage calculators and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calling. We conclude that the GATK programming framework enables developers and analysts to quickly and easily write efficient and robust NGS tools, many of which have already been incorporated into large-scale sequencing projects like the 1000 Genomes Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas.

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Topics: Variant Call Format (52%), Software framework (50%)

16,404 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1186/S13742-015-0047-8
25 Feb 2015-GigaScience
Abstract: Background: PLINK 1 is a widely used open-source C/C++ toolset for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and research in population genetics. However, the steady accumulation of data from imputation and whole-genome sequencing studies has exposed a strong need for faster and scalable implementations of key functions, such as logistic regression, linkage disequilibrium estimation, and genomic distance evaluation. In addition, GWAS and population-genetic data now frequently contain genotype likelihoods, phase information, and/or multiallelic variants, none of which can be represented by PLINK 1’s primary data format. Findings: To address these issues, we are developing a second-generation codebase for PLINK. The first major release from this codebase, PLINK 1.9, introduces extensive use of bit-level parallelism, O √ n -time/constant-space Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and Fisher’s exact tests, and many other algorithmic improvements. In combination, these changes accelerate most operations by 1-4 orders of magnitude, and allow the program to handle datasets too large to fit in RAM. We have also developed an extension to the data format which adds low-overhead support for genotype likelihoods, phase, multiallelic variants, and reference vs. alternate alleles, which is the basis of our planned second release (PLINK 2.0). Conclusions: The second-generation versions of PLINK will offer dramatic improvements in performance and compatibility. For the first time, users without access to high-end computing resources can perform several essential analyses of the feature-rich and very large genetic datasets coming into use.

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4,519 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA2021436
Abstract: BackgroundCoronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is associated with diffuse lung damage. Glucocorticoids may modulate inflammation-mediated lung injury and thereby reduce progression to respiratory failure and death.MethodsIn this controlled, open-label trial comparing a range of possible treatments in patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19, we randomly assigned patients to receive oral or intravenous dexamethasone (at a dose of 6 mg once daily) for up to 10 days or to receive usual care alone. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Here, we report the final results of this assessment.ResultsA total of 2104 patients were assigned to receive dexamethasone and 4321 to receive usual care. Overall, 482 patients (22.9%) in the dexamethasone group and 1110 patients (25.7%) in the usual care group died within 28 days after randomization (age-adjusted rate ratio, 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75 to 0.93; P<0.001). The proportional and absolute between-group differences in mortality varied considerably according to the level of respiratory support that the patients were receiving at the time of randomization. In the dexamethasone group, the incidence of death was lower than that in the usual care group among patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation (29.3% vs. 41.4%; rate ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.81) and among those receiving oxygen without invasive mechanical ventilation (23.3% vs. 26.2%; rate ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.72 to 0.94) but not among those who were receiving no respiratory support at randomization (17.8% vs. 14.0%; rate ratio, 1.19; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.55).ConclusionsIn patients hospitalized with Covid-19, the use of dexamethasone resulted in lower 28-day mortality among those who were receiving either invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen alone at randomization but not among those receiving no respiratory support. (Funded by the Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research and others; RECOVERY ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04381936. opens in new tab; ISRCTN number, 50189673. opens in new tab.)

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Topics: Lung injury (55%), Mechanical ventilation (52%), Randomized controlled trial (52%) ... read more

4,501 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.AJHG.2010.11.011
Abstract: For most human complex diseases and traits, SNPs identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) explain only a small fraction of the heritability. Here we report a user-friendly software tool called genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA), which was developed based on a method we recently developed to address the “missing heritability” problem. GCTA estimates the variance explained by all the SNPs on a chromosome or on the whole genome for a complex trait rather than testing the association of any particular SNP to the trait. We introduce GCTA's five main functions: data management, estimation of the genetic relationships from SNPs, mixed linear model analysis of variance explained by the SNPs, estimation of the linkage disequilibrium structure, and GWAS simulation. We focus on the function of estimating the variance explained by all the SNPs on the X chromosome and testing the hypotheses of dosage compensation. The GCTA software is a versatile tool to estimate and partition complex trait variation with large GWAS data sets.

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4,497 Citations


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