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Efficacy and safety of azithromycin versus placebo to treat lower respiratory tract infections associated with low procalcitonin: a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, non-inferiority trial

Tsalik, Ephraim L; Rouphael, Nadine G; Sadikot, Ruxana T; Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C; McClain, Micah T; Wilkins, Dana M; Woods, Christopher W; Swamy, Geeta K; Walter, Emmanuel B; El Sahly, Hana M; Keitel, Wendy A; Mulligan, Mark J; Tuyishimire, Bonifride; Serti, Elisavet; Hamasaki, Toshimitsu; Evans, Scott R; Ghazaryan, Varduhi; Lee, Marina S; Lautenbach, Ebbing
BACKGROUND:Lower respiratory tract infections are frequently treated with antibiotics, despite a viral cause in many cases. It remains unknown whether low procalcitonin concentrations can identify patients with lower respiratory tract infection who are unlikely to benefit from antibiotics. We aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of azithromycin versus placebo to treat lower respiratory tract infections in patients with low procalcitonin. METHODS:We conducted a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, non-inferiority trial at five health centres in the USA. Adults aged 18 years or older with clinically suspected non-pneumonia lower respiratory tract infection and symptom duration from 24 h to 28 days were eligible for enrolment. Participants with a procalcitonin concentration of 0·25 ng/mL or less were randomly assigned (1:1), in blocks of four with stratification by site, to receive over-encapsulated oral azithromycin 250 mg or matching placebo (two capsules on day 1 followed by one capsule daily for 4 days). Participants, non-study clinical providers, investigators, and study coordinators were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was efficacy of azithromycin versus placebo in terms of clinical improvement at day 5 in the intention-to-treat population. The non-inferiority margin was -12·5%. Solicited adverse events (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, allergic reaction, or yeast infections) were recorded as a secondary outcome. This trial is registered with, NCT03341273. FINDINGS/RESULTS:Between Dec 8, 2017, and March 9, 2020, 691 patients were assessed for eligibility and 499 were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive azithromycin (n=249) or placebo (n=250). Clinical improvement at day 5 was observed in 148 (63%, 95% CI 54 to 71) of 238 participants with full data in the placebo group and 155 (69%, 61 to 77) of 227 participants with full data in the azithromycin group in the intention-to-treat analysis (between-group difference -6%, 95% CI -15 to 2). The 95% CI for the difference did not meet the non-inferiority margin. Solicited adverse events and the severity of solicited adverse events were not significantly different between groups at day 5, except for increased abdominal pain associated with azithromycin (47 [23%, 95% CI 18 to 29] of 204 participants) compared with placebo (35 [16%, 12 to 21] of 221; between-group difference -7% [95% CI -15 to 0]; p=0·066). INTERPRETATION/CONCLUSIONS:Placebo was not non-inferior to azithromycin in terms of clinical improvement at day 5 in adults with lower respiratory tract infection and a low procalcitonin concentration. After accounting for both the rates of clinical improvement and solicited adverse events at day 5, it is unclear whether antibiotics are indicated for patients with lower respiratory tract infection and a low procalcitonin concentration. FUNDING/BACKGROUND:National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, bioMérieux.
PMID: 36525985
ISSN: 1474-4457
CID: 5382572

Capsular Polysaccharide Is Essential for the Virulence of the Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogen Enterobacter hormaechei

St John, Amelia; Perault, Andrew I; Giacometti, Sabrina I; Sommerfield, Alexis G; DuMont, Ashley L; Lacey, Keenan A; Zheng, Xuhui; Sproch, Julia; Petzold, Chris; Dancel-Manning, Kristen; Gonzalez, Sandra; Annavajhala, Medini; Beckford, Colleen; Zeitouni, Nathalie; Liang, Feng-Xia; van Bakel, Harm; Shopsin, Bo; Uhlemann, Anne-Catrin; Pironti, Alejandro; Torres, Victor J
Nosocomial infections caused by multidrug-resistant (MDR) Enterobacter cloacae complex (ECC) pathogens are on the rise. However, the virulence strategies employed by these pathogens remain elusive. Here, we study the interaction of ECC clinical isolates with human serum to define how this pathogen evades the antimicrobial action of complement, one of the first lines of host-mediated immune defense. We identified a small number of serum-sensitive strains, including Enterobacter hormaechei strain NR3055, which we exploited for the in vitro selection of serum-resistant clones. Comparative genomics between the serum-sensitive NR3055 strain and the isolated serum-resistant clones revealed a premature stop codon in the wzy gene of the capsular polysaccharide biosynthesis locus of NR3055. The complementation of wzy conferred serum resistance to NR3055, prevented the deposition of complement proteins on the bacterial surface, inhibited phagocytosis by human neutrophils, and rendered the bacteria virulent in a mouse model of peritonitis. Mice exposed to a nonlethal dose of encapsulated NR3055 were protected from subsequent lethal infections by encapsulated NR3055, whereas mice that were previously exposed to unencapsulated NR3055 succumbed to infection. Thus, capsule is a key immune evasion determinant for E. hormaechei, and it is a potential target for prophylactics and therapeutics to combat these increasingly MDR human pathogens. IMPORTANCE Infections caused by antimicrobial resistant bacteria are of increasing concern, especially those due to carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae pathogens. Included in this group are species of the Enterobacter cloacae complex, regarding which there is a paucity of knowledge on the infection biology of the pathogens, despite their clinical relevance. In this study, we combine techniques in comparative genomics, bacterial genetics, and diverse models of infection to establish capsule as an important mechanism of Enterobacter pathogens to resist the antibacterial activity of serum, a first line of host defense against bacterial infections. We also show that immune memory targeting the Enterobacter capsule protects against lethal infection. The further characterization of Enterobacter infection biology and the immune response to infection are needed for the development of therapies and preventative interventions targeting these highly antibiotic resistant pathogens.
PMID: 36779722
ISSN: 2150-7511
CID: 5421192

MRSA lineage USA300 isolated from bloodstream infections exhibit altered virulence regulation

Dyzenhaus, Sophie; Sullivan, Mitchell J; Alburquerque, Bremy; Boff, Daiane; van de Guchte, Adriana; Chung, Marilyn; Fulmer, Yi; Copin, Richard; Ilmain, Juliana K; O'Keefe, Anna; Altman, Deena R; Stubbe, François-Xavier; Podkowik, Magdalena; Dupper, Amy C; Shopsin, Bo; van Bakel, Harm; Torres, Victor J
The epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) USA300 lineage has recently become a leading cause of hospital-associated bloodstream infections (BSIs). Here, we leveraged this recent introduction into hospitals and the limited genetic variation across USA300 isolates to identify mutations that contribute to its success in a new environment. We found that USA300 BSI isolates exhibit altered virulence regulation. Using comparative genomics to delineate the genes involved in this phenotype, we discovered repeated and independent mutations in the transcriptional regulator sarZ. Mutations in sarZ resulted in increased virulence of USA300 BSI isolates in a murine model of BSI. The sarZ mutations derepressed the expression and production of the surface protein ClfB, which was critical for the pathogenesis of USA300 BSI isolates. Altogether, these findings highlight ongoing evolution of a major MRSA lineage and suggest USA300 strains can optimize their fitness through altered regulation of virulence.
PMID: 36681080
ISSN: 1934-6069
CID: 5426472

Low incidence and transient elevation of autoantibodies post mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in inflammatory arthritis

Blank, Rebecca B; Haberman, Rebecca H; Qian, Kun; Samanovic, Marie; Castillo, Rochelle; Jimenez Hernandez, Anthony; Vasudevapillai Girija, Parvathy; Catron, Sydney; Uddin, Zakwan; Rackoff, Paula; Solomon, Gary; Azar, Natalie; Rosenthal, Pamela; Izmirly, Peter; Samuels, Jonathan; Golden, Brian; Reddy, Soumya; Mulligan, Mark J; Hu, Jiyuan; Scher, Jose U
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Autoantibody seroconversion has been extensively studied in the context of COVID-19 infection but data regarding post-vaccination autoantibody production is lacking. Here we aimed to determine the incidence of common autoantibody formation following mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) and in healthy controls. METHODS:Autoantibody seroconversion was measured by serum ELISA in a longitudinal cohort of IA participants and healthy controls before and after COVID-19 mRNA-based immunization. RESULTS:Overall, there was a significantly lower incidence of ANA seroconversion in participants who did not contract COVID-19 prior to vaccination compared with those who been previously infected (7.4% vs 24.1%, p= 0.014). Incidence of de novo anti-cyclic citrullinated protein (CCP) seroconversion in all participants was low at 4.9%. Autoantibody levels were typically of low titer, transient, and not associated with increase in IA flares. CONCLUSIONS:In both health and inflammatory arthritis, the risk of autoantibody seroconversion is lower following mRNA-based immunization than following natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Importantly, seroconversion does not correlate with self-reported IA disease flare risk, further supporting the encouragement of mRNA-based COVID-19 immunization in the IA population.
PMID: 35640110
ISSN: 1462-0332
CID: 5235902

COVID-19 Reinfection and Disease Severity in the New York City Health + Hospitals System

Smolen, Jenny R; Filardo, Thomas D; George, Annie; Bhuiyan, Sakil; Kalava, Sowmya; Shahin, Noor; Farkas, Jonathan; Mantis, Jazila; Saliaj, Merjona; Mukerhee, Vikramjit; Salama, Carlos; Eckhardt, Benjamin; Cohen, Gabriel
ISSN: 2328-8957
CID: 5375722

Vaccine-Acquired SARS-CoV-2 Immunity versus Infection-Acquired Immunity: A Comparison of Three COVID-19 Vaccines

Samanovic, Marie I.; Oom, Aaron L.; Cornelius, Amber R.; Gray-Gaillard, Sophie L.; Karmacharya, Trishala; Tuen, Michael; Wilson, Jimmy P.; Tasissa, Meron F.; Goins, Shelby; Herati, Ramin Sedaghat; Mulligan, Mark J.
Around the world, rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been used as a strategy to end COVID-19-related restrictions and the pandemic. Several COVID-19 vaccine platforms have successfully protected against severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent deaths. Here, we compared humoral and cellular immunity in response to either infection or vaccination. We examined SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific immune responses from Pfizer/BioNTech BNT162b2, Moderna mRNA-1273, Janssen Ad26.COV2.S, and SARS-CoV-2 infection approximately 4 months post-exposure or vaccination. We found that these three vaccines all generate relatively similar immune responses and elicit a stronger response than natural infection. However, antibody responses to recent viral variants are diminished across all groups. The similarity of immune responses from the three vaccines studied here is an important finding in maximizing global protection as vaccination campaigns continue.
ISSN: 2076-393x
CID: 5407302

Cost of providing co-located hepatitis C treatment at a syringe service program exceeds potential reimbursement: Results from a clinical trial

Kapadia, Sashi N; Eckhardt, Benjamin J; Leff, Jared A; Fong, Chunki; Mateu-Gelabert, Pedro; Marks, Kristen M; Aponte-Melendez, Yesenia; Schackman, Bruce R
ISSN: 2772-7246
CID: 5374982

Molecularly distinct memory CD4+ T cells are induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection and mRNA vaccination

Gray-Gaillard, Sophie L; Solis, Sabrina; Monteiro, Clarice; Chen, Han M; Ciabattoni, Grace; Samanovic, Marie I; Cornelius, Amber R; Williams, Tijaana; Geesey, Emilie; Rodriguez, Miguel; Ortigoza, Mila Brum; Ivanova, Ellie N; Koralov, Sergei B; Mulligan, Mark J; Herati, Ramin Sedaghat
UNLABELLED:Adaptive immune responses are induced by vaccination and infection, yet little is known about how CD4+ T cell memory differs between these two contexts. Notable differences in humoral and cellular immune responses to primary mRNA vaccination were observed and associated with prior COVID-19 history, including in the establishment and recall of Spike-specific CD4+ T cells. It was unclear whether CD4+ T cell memory established by infection or mRNA vaccination as the first exposure to Spike was qualitatively similar. To assess whether the mechanism of initial memory T cell priming affected subsequent responses to Spike protein, 14 people who were receiving a third mRNA vaccination, referenced here as the booster, were stratified based on whether the first exposure to Spike protein was by viral infection or immunization (infection-primed or vaccine-primed). Using multimodal scRNA-seq of activation-induced marker (AIM)-reactive Spike-specific CD4+ T cells, we identified 220 differentially expressed genes between infection- and vaccine-primed patients at the post-booster time point. Infection-primed participants had greater expression of genes related to cytotoxicity and interferon signaling. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) revealed enrichment for Interferon Alpha, Interferon Gamma, and Inflammatory response gene sets in Spike-specific CD4+ T cells from infection-primed individuals, whereas Spike-specific CD4+ T cells from vaccine-primed individuals had strong enrichment for proliferative pathways by GSEA. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infection in vaccine-primed participants resulted in subtle changes in the transcriptional landscape of Spike-specific memory CD4+ T cells relative to pre-breakthrough samples but did not recapitulate the transcriptional profile of infection-primed Spike-specific CD4+ T cells. Together, these data suggest that CD4+ T cell memory is durably imprinted by the inflammatory context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, which has implications for personalization of vaccination based on prior infection history. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY/UNASSIGNED:SARS-CoV-2 infection and mRNA vaccination prime transcriptionally distinct CD4+ T cell memory landscapes which are sustained with subsequent doses of vaccine.
PMID: 36415470
ISSN: 2692-8205
CID: 5390872

Dose-Response of a Norovirus GII.2 Controlled Human Challenge Model Inoculum

Rouphael, Nadine; Beck, Allison; Kirby, Amy E; Liu, Pengbo; Natrajan, Muktha S; Lai, Lilin; Phadke, Varun; Winston, Juton; Raabe, Vanessa; Collins, Matthew H; Girmay, Tigisty; Alvarez, Alicarmen; Beydoun, Nour; Karmali, Vinit; Altieri-Rivera, Joanne; Lindesmith, Lisa C; Anderson, Evan J; Wang, Yuke; El-Khorazaty, Jill; Petrie, Carey; Baric, Ralph S; Baqar, Shahida; Moe, Christine L; Mulligan, Mark J
BACKGROUND:Genogroup II noroviruses are the most common cause of acute infectious gastroenteritis. We evaluated the use of a new GII.2 inoculum in a human challenge. METHODS:Forty-four healthy adults (36 secretor-positive and 8 secretor-negative for histo-blood group antigens) were challenged with ascending doses of a new safety-tested Snow Mountain Virus (SMV) GII.2 norovirus inoculum (1.2x10 4 to 1.2x10 7 genomic equivalent copies [GEC]; n=38) or placebo ( n=6). Illness was defined as diarrhea and/or vomiting post challenge in subjects with evidence of infection (defined as GII.2 norovirus RNA detection in stool and/or anti-SMV IgG seroconversion). RESULTS:The highest dose was associated with SMV infection in 90%, and illness in 70% of subjects with 10 of 12 secretor-positive (83%) and 4 of 8 secretor-negative (50%) becoming ill. There was no association between pre-challenge anti-SMV serum IgG concentration, carbohydrate-binding blockade antibody, or salivary IgA and infection. The ID50 was 5.1×10 5 GEC. CONCLUSIONS:High rates of infection and illness were observed in both secretor-positive and negative subjects in this challenge study. However, a high dose will be required to achieve the target of 75% illness to make this an efficient model for evaluating potential norovirus vaccines and therapeutics.
PMID: 35137154
ISSN: 1537-6613
CID: 5176072

Gut microbiome dysbiosis in antibiotic-treated COVID-19 patients is associated with microbial translocation and bacteremia

Bernard-Raichon, Lucie; Venzon, Mericien; Klein, Jon; Axelrad, Jordan E; Zhang, Chenzhen; Sullivan, Alexis P; Hussey, Grant A; Casanovas-Massana, Arnau; Noval, Maria G; Valero-Jimenez, Ana M; Gago, Juan; Putzel, Gregory; Pironti, Alejandro; Wilder, Evan; Thorpe, Lorna E; Littman, Dan R; Dittmann, Meike; Stapleford, Kenneth A; Shopsin, Bo; Torres, Victor J; Ko, Albert I; Iwasaki, Akiko; Cadwell, Ken; Schluter, Jonas
Although microbial populations in the gut microbiome are associated with COVID-19 severity, a causal impact on patient health has not been established. Here we provide evidence that gut microbiome dysbiosis is associated with translocation of bacteria into the blood during COVID-19, causing life-threatening secondary infections. We first demonstrate SARS-CoV-2 infection induces gut microbiome dysbiosis in mice, which correlated with alterations to Paneth cells and goblet cells, and markers of barrier permeability. Samples collected from 96 COVID-19 patients at two different clinical sites also revealed substantial gut microbiome dysbiosis, including blooms of opportunistic pathogenic bacterial genera known to include antimicrobial-resistant species. Analysis of blood culture results testing for secondary microbial bloodstream infections with paired microbiome data indicates that bacteria may translocate from the gut into the systemic circulation of COVID-19 patients. These results are consistent with a direct role for gut microbiome dysbiosis in enabling dangerous secondary infections during COVID-19.
PMID: 36319618
ISSN: 2041-1723
CID: 5358262