Immunosuppressive treatment and COVID-19

Best Practice Nordic | Mar 2020 | COVID-19 |

According to The European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO), patients under immunosuppressive/immunomodulatory treatment are not in a significant increased risk of catching COVID-19. As the risk of severe infections is slightly higher in patients under immunosuppression therapies, it is expected that the same might occur in SARS-CoV-2 infections. But data from immunosuppressed patients and SARS-CoV-2 are very scarce. However, according to ECCO, elderly patients with comorbidities has shown higher risk for more severe infections. Also, elderly patients with comorbidities have shown higher case fatality rates compared to patients without comorbidities: Cardiovascular disease 10.5% Diabetes 7.3% Chronic respiratory disease 6.5% Hypertension 6.0% Cancers 5.6%. It has also been shown that smokers have a high susceptibility to COVID-19. Tobacco increases the gene expression of the angiotensin converting enzyme, the binding receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Source 1st Interview of Prof. Dr Cândida Abreu, Hospital São JoãoDepartment of Infectious Diseases, Porto, Portugal, on behalf of the COVID-19 ECCO Taskforce, published March 13, 2020