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Pulmonology ; 28(1): 34-43, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213484


INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Severe asthma management during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a challenge and will continue to be, at least in the next few months, as herd immunity is still a mirage. A lot has to be learned about how COVID-19 affects underlying diseases, and severe asthma is no exception. METHODS: Narrative review of papers available until February 2021 in PubMed and Google Scholar, relating severe asthma and COVID-19. Four main research topics were reviewed: SARS-CoV-2 infection: immunology and respiratory pathology; interrelationship of severe asthma endotypes and COVID-19 disease mechanisms; severe asthma epidemiology and COVID-19; and biologics for severe asthma in the context of COVID-19. RESULTS: COVID-19 disease mechanisms start with upper respiratory cell infection, and afterwards several immunological facets are activated, contributing to disease severity, namely cell-mediated immunity and antibody production. Although infrequent in the COVID-19 course some patients develop a cytokine storm that causes organ damage and may lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome or multiorgan failure. Regarding severe asthma endotypes, type2-high might have a protective role both in infection risk and disease course. There is conflicting data regarding the epidemiological relationship between COVID-19 among severe asthma patients, with some studies reporting increased risk of infection and disease course, whereas others the other way round. Biologics for severe asthma do not seem to increase the risk of infection and severe COVID-19, although further evidence is needed. CONCLUSIONS: Globally, in the era of COVID-19, major respiratory societies recommend continuing the biologic treatment, preferably in a self-home administration program.

Asthma , Biological Products , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Asthma/complications , Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Factors , Pandemics , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index
Biomedicines ; 9(4)2021 Mar 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160232


Viral respiratory infections are recognized risk factors for the loss of control of allergic asthma and the induction of exacerbations, both in adults and children. Severe asthma is more susceptible to virus-induced asthma exacerbations, especially in the presence of high IgE levels. In the course of immune responses to viruses, an initial activation of innate immunity typically occurs and the production of type I and III interferons is essential in the control of viral spread. However, the Th2 inflammatory environment still appears to be protective against viral infections in general and in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections as well. As for now, literature data, although extremely limited and preliminary, show that severe asthma patients treated with biologics don't have an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection or progression to severe forms compared to the non-asthmatic population. Omalizumab, an anti-IgE monoclonal antibody, exerts a profound cellular effect, which can stabilize the effector cells, and is becoming much more efficient from the point of view of innate immunity in contrasting respiratory viral infections. In addition to the antiviral effect, clinical efficacy and safety of this biological allow a great improvement in the management of asthma.