Partial Neuromuscular Blockade during Partial Ventilatory Support in Sedated Patients with High Tidal Volumes. (Stulce)

Doorduin J, Nollet JL, Roesthuis LH, et al. Partial Neuromuscular Blockade during Partial Ventilatory Support in Sedated Patients with High Tidal Volumes. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Apr 15;195(8):1033-1042.

RATIONALE: Controlled mechanical ventilation is used to deliver lung-protective ventilation in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Despite recognized benefits, such as preserved diaphragm activity, partial support ventilation modes may be incompatible with lung-protective ventilation due to high Vt and high transpulmonary pressure. As an alternative to high-dose sedatives and controlled mechanical ventilation, pharmacologically induced neuromechanical uncoupling of the diaphragm should facilitate lung-protective ventilation under partial support modes.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether partial neuromuscular blockade can facilitate lung-protective ventilation while maintaining diaphragm activity under partial ventilatory support.

METHODS: In a proof-of-concept study, we enrolled 10 patients with lung injury and a Vt greater than 8 ml/kg under pressure support ventilation (PSV) and under sedation. After baseline measurements, rocuronium administration was titrated to a target Vt of 6 ml/kg during neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA). Thereafter, patients were ventilated in PSV and NAVA under continuous rocuronium infusion for 2 hours. Respiratory parameters, hemodynamic parameters, and blood gas values were measured.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Rocuronium titration resulted in significant declines of Vt (mean ± SEM, 9.3 ± 0.6 to 5.6 ± 0.2 ml/kg; P < 0.0001), transpulmonary pressure (26.7 ± 2.5 to 10.7 ± 1.2 cm H2O; P < 0.0001), and diaphragm electrical activity (17.4 ± 2.3 to 4.5 ± 0.7 μV; P < 0.0001), and could be maintained under continuous rocuronium infusion. During titration, pH decreased (7.42 ± 0.02 to 7.35 ± 0.02; P < 0.0001), and mean arterial blood pressure increased (84 ± 6 to 99 ± 6 mm Hg; P = 0.0004), as did heart rate (83 ± 7 to 93 ± 8 beats/min; P = 0.0004).

CONCLUSIONS: Partial neuromuscular blockade facilitates lung-protective ventilation during partial ventilatory support, while maintaining diaphragm activity, in sedated patients with lung injury.

Nasopharyngeal Microbiota, Host Transcriptome, and Disease Severity in Children with Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection. (Stulce)

de Steenhuijsen Piters WA, et al. Nasopharyngeal Microbiota, Host Transcriptome, and Disease Severity in Children with Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2016 Nov 1;194(9):1104-1115.

RATIONALE: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections and hospitalizations in infants worldwide. Known risk factors, however, incompletely explain the variability of RSV disease severity, especially among healthy children. We postulate that the severity of RSV infection is influenced by modulation of the host immune response by the local bacterial ecosystem.

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether specific nasopharyngeal microbiota (clusters) are associated with distinct host transcriptome profiles and disease severity in children less than 2 years of age with RSV infection.

METHODS: We characterized the nasopharyngeal microbiota profiles of young children with mild and severe RSV disease and healthy children by 16S-rRNA sequencing. In parallel, using multivariable models, we analyzed whole-blood transcriptome profiles to study the relationship between microbial community composition, the RSV-induced host transcriptional response, and clinical disease severity.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We identified five nasopharyngeal microbiota clusters characterized by enrichment of either Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium, Moraxella, or Staphylococcus aureus. RSV infection and RSV hospitalization were positively associated with H. influenzae and Streptococcus and negatively associated with S. aureus abundance, independent of age. Children with RSV showed overexpression of IFN-related genes, independent of the microbiota cluster. In addition, transcriptome profiles of children with RSV infection and H. influenzae- and Streptococcus-dominated microbiota were characterized by greater overexpression of genes linked to Toll-like receptor and by neutrophil and macrophage activation and signaling.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that interactions between RSV and nasopharyngeal microbiota might modulate the host immune response, potentially affecting clinical disease severity.

Randomized controlled trial of calcitriol in severe sepsis. (Fortenberry)

Leaf DE, Raed A, Donnino MW, Ginde AA, Waikar SS. Randomized controlled trial of calcitriol in severe sepsis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Sep 1;190(5):533-41.

Full-text for Children’s and Emory users.

RATIONALE: Vitamin D and its metabolites have potent immunomodulatory effects in vitro, including up-regulation of cathelicidin, a critical antimicrobial protein.

OBJECTIVES: We investigated whether administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol) to critically ill patients with sepsis would have beneficial effects on markers of innate immunity, inflammation, and kidney injury.

METHODS: We performed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, physiologic study among 67 critically ill patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Patients were randomized to receive a single dose of calcitriol (2 μg intravenously) versus placebo. The primary outcome was plasma cathelicidin protein levels assessed 24 hours after study drug administration. Secondary outcomes included leukocyte cathelicidin mRNA expression, plasma cytokine levels (IL-10, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, and IL-2), and urinary kidney injury markers.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Patients randomized to calcitriol (n = 36) versus placebo (n = 31) had similar plasma cathelicidin protein levels at 24 hours (P = 0.16). Calcitriol-treated patients had higher cathelicidin (P = 0.04) and IL-10 (P = 0.03) mRNA expression than placebo-treated patients 24 hours after study drug administration. Plasma cytokine levels (IL-10, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, and IL-2) and urinary kidney injury markers were similar in calcitriol- versus placebo-treated patients (P > 0.05 for all comparisons). Calcitriol had no effect on clinical outcomes nor were any adverse effects observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Calcitriol administration did not increase plasma cathelicidin protein levels in critically ill patients with sepsis and had mixed effects on other immunomodulatory markers. Additional phase II trials investigating the dose and timing of calcitriol as a therapeutic agent in specific sepsis phenotypes may be warranted. Clinical trial registered with (NCT 01689441).

Respiratory syncytial virus increases the virulence of streptococcus pneumoniae by binding to penicillin binding protein 1a. A new paradigm in respiratory infection. (Fortenberry)

Smith CM, Sandrini S, Datta S, et al. Respiratory syncytial virus increases the virulence of streptococcus pneumoniae by binding to penicillin binding protein 1a. A new paradigm in respiratory infection. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014 Jul 15;190(2):196-207.

Full-text for Children’s and Emory users.

Rationale: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Streptococcus pneumoniae are major respiratory pathogens. Coinfection with RSV and S. pneumoniae is associated with severe and often fatal pneumonia but the molecular basis for this remains unclear.

Objectives: To determine if interaction between RSV and pneumococci enhances pneumococcal virulence.

Methods: We used confocal microscopy and Western blot to identify the receptors involved in direct binding of RSV and pneumococci, the effects of which were studied in both in vivo and in vitro models of infection. Human ciliated respiratory epithelial cell cultures were infected with RSV for 72 hours and then challenged with pneumococci. Pneumococci were collected after 2 hours exposure and changes in gene expression determined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

Measurements and Main Results: Following incubation with RSV or purified G protein, pneumococci demonstrated a significant increase in the inflammatory response and bacterial adherence to human ciliated epithelial cultures and markedly increased virulence in a pneumonia model in mice. This was associated with extensive changes in the pneumococcal transcriptome and significant up-regulation in the expression of key pneumococcal virulence genes, including the gene for the pneumococcal toxin, pneumolysin. We show that mechanistically this is caused by RSV G glycoprotein binding penicillin binding protein 1a.

Conclusions: The direct interaction between a respiratory virus protein and the pneumococcus resulting in increased bacterial virulence and worsening disease outcome is a new paradigm in respiratory infection.