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Arthritis Res Ther ; 23(1): 166, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266501


BACKGROUND: To investigate whether methotrexate treatment may affect the susceptibility to infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: Clinical assessment of symptoms, SARS-CoV-2 RNA, and anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG in an initial case series of four families and confirmatory case series of seven families, within which one family member developed coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) and exposed another family member receiving methotrexate treatment; experimental part with methotrexate treatment of mice and organoids followed by the assessment of mRNA and protein expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-2. RESULTS: In the initial case series, three of four women on a joint ski trip developed COVID-19, while the fourth woman, under treatment with methotrexate, remained virus-free. Two of the three diseased women infected their husbands, while the third husband treated with methotrexate remained virus-free. In addition, 7 other families were identified in a follow-up case series, in which one member developed COVID-19, while the other, receiving methotrexate, remained healthy. Experimentally, when mice were treated with methotrexate, ACE2 expression significantly decreased in the lung, in the intestinal epithelium, and in intestinal organoids. CONCLUSION: These clinical and experimental data indicate that methotrexate has certain protective effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection via downregulating ACE2.

COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Methotrexate , Mice , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3774, 2020 07 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-672188


Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) of the joints, gut and skin are treated with inhibitors of inflammatory cytokines. These cytokines are involved in the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Investigating anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in IMIDs we observe a reduced incidence of SARS-CoV-2 seroconversion in IMID patients treated with cytokine inhibitors compared to patients receiving no such inhibitors and two healthy control populations, despite similar social exposure. Hence, cytokine inhibitors seem to at least partially protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/antagonists & inhibitors , Immune System Diseases/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Seroconversion , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , Risk