The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been identified as responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. Data on treatment are scare and parallels are made between SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus. Remdesivir is a broad spectrum antiviral with efficient in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 and controversial evidence of clinical improvement in severe COVID-19 patients. We aimed to describe the clinical outcome and virological monitoring of the first five COVID-19 patients admitted in ICU for severe pneumonia related to SARS-CoV-2 and treated with remdesivir in the University hospital of Bichat, Paris, France. SARS-CoV-2 RT-qPCR in blood plasma, lower and upper respiratory tract were monitored. Among the five treated patients, two needed mechanical ventilation and one high flow cannula oxygen. A significant decrease in SARS-CoV-2 viral load from upper respiratory tract was observed in most cases but two died with active SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lower respiratory tract. Plasma samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 in only one patient. Remdesivir was interrupted for side effects among four patients, including 2 ALT elevations (3 to 5 N) and 2 renal failures requiring renal replacement. This case series of five COVID-19 patients requiring ICU for a respiratory distress and treated with remdesivir, highlights the complexity of remdesivir use in such critically ill patients.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 viral load; antiviral therapy; case reports; remdesivir; viral pneumonia.
Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.