• Azithromycin and risk of COPD exacerbations in patients with and without Helicobacter pylori

      Ra, S.W.; Sze, M.A.; Lee, E.C. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2017)
      Background: Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection is associated with reduced lung function and systemic inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Azithromycin (AZ) is active against HP and reduces the risk of COPD exacerbation. We determined whether HP infection status modifies the effects of AZ in COPD patients. Methods: Plasma samples from 1018 subjects with COPD who participated in the Macrolide Azithromycin (MACRO) in COPD Study were used to determine the HP infection status at baseline and 12 months of follow-up using a serologic assay. Based on HP infection status and randomization to either AZ or placebo (PL), the subjects were divided into 4 groups: HP+/AZ, HP-/AZ, HP+/PL, and HP-/PL. Time to first exacerbation was compared across the 4 groups using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and a Cox proportional hazards model. The rates of exacerbation were compared using both the Kruskal-Wallis test and negative binomial analysis. Blood biomarkers at enrolment and at follow-up visits 3, 12, and 13 (1 month after treatment was stopped) months were measured. Results: One hundred eighty one (17.8%) patients were seropositive to HP. Non-Caucasian participants were nearly three times more likely to be HP seropositive than Caucasian participants (37.4% vs 13.6%; p < 0.001). The median time to first exacerbation was significantly different across the four groups (p = 0.001) with the longest time in the HP+/AZ group (11.2 months, 95% CI; 8.4-12.5+) followed by the HP-/AZ group (8.0 months, 95% CI; 6.7-9.7). Hazard ratio (HR) for exacerbations was lowest in the HP+/AZ group after adjustment for age, sex, smoking status, ethnicity, history of peptic ulcer, dyspnea, previous hospital admission, GOLD grade of severity, and forced vital capacity (HR, 0.612; 95% CI, 0.442-0.846 vs HR, 0.789; 95% CI, 0.663-0.938 in the HP-/AZ group). Circulating levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor-75 were reduced only in the HP+/AZ group after 3 months of AZ treatment (−0.87 ± 0.31 μg/L; p = 0.002); levels returned to baseline after discontinuing AZ. Conclusions: AZ is effective in preventing COPD exacerbations in patients with HP seropositivity, possibly by modulating TNF pathways related to HP infection. Copyright 2017 The Author(s).
    • Serum IgG subclass levels and risk of exacerbations and hospitalizations in patients with COPD

      Filho, F.S.L.; Ra, S.W.; Mattman, A. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2018)
      Background: The literature is scarce regarding the prevalence and clinical impact of IgG subclass deficiency in COPD. We investigated the prevalence of IgG subclass deficiencies and their association with exacerbations and hospitalizations using subjects from two COPD cohorts. Methods: We measured IgG subclass levels using immunonephelometry in serum samples from participants enrolled in two previous COPD trials: Macrolide Azithromycin for Prevention of Exacerbations of COPD (MACRO; n = 976) and Simvastatin for the Prevention of Exacerbations in Moderate-to-Severe COPD (STATCOPE; n = 653). All samples were collected from clinically stable participants upon entry into both studies. IgG subclass deficiency was diagnosed when IgG subclass levels were below their respective lower limit of normal: IgG1 < 2.8 g/L; IgG2 < 1.15 g/L; IgG3 < 0.24 g/L; and IgG4 < 0.052 g/L. To investigate the impact of IgG subclass levels on time to first exacerbation or hospitalization, we log-transformed IgG levels and performed Cox regression models, with adjustments for confounders. Results: One or more IgG subclass deficiencies were found in 173 (17.7%) and 133 (20.4%) participants in MACRO and STATCOPE, respectively. Lower IgG1 or IgG2 levels resulted in increased risk of exacerbations with adjusted hazard ratios (HR) of 1.30 (95% CI, 1.10-1.54, p < 0.01) and 1.19 (95% CI, 1.05-1.35, p < 0.01), respectively in the MACRO study, with STATCOPE yielding similar results. Reduced IgG1 or IgG2 levels were also associated with increased risk of hospitalizations: the adjusted HR for IgG1 and IgG2 was 1.52 (95% CI: 1.15-2.02, p < 0.01) and 1.33 (95% CI, 1.08-1.64, p < 0.01), respectively for the MACRO study; in STATCOPE, only IgG2 was an independent predictor of hospitalization. In our multivariate Cox models, IgG3 and IgG4 levels did not result in significant associations for both outcomes in either MACRO or STATCOPE cohorts. Conclusions: Approximately 1 in 5 COPD patients had one or more IgG subclass deficiencies. Reduced IgG subclass levels were independent risk factors for both COPD exacerbations (IgG1 and IgG2) and hospitalizations (IgG2) in two COPD cohorts. Copyright 2018 The Author(s).