The current coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing global health crisis due to COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Although COVID-19 leads to little or mild flu-like symptoms in the majority of affected patients, the disease may cause severe, frequently lethal complications such as progressive pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome and organ failure driven by hyperinflammation and a cytokine storm syndrome. This situation causes various major challenges for gastroenterology. In the context of IBD, several key questions arise. For instance, it is an important question to understand whether patients with IBD (eg, due to intestinal ACE2 expression) might be particularly susceptible to COVID-19 and the cytokine release syndrome associated with lung injury and fatal outcomes. Another highly relevant question is how to deal with immunosuppression and immunomodulation during the current pandemic in patients with IBD and whether immunosuppression affects the progress of COVID-19. Here, the current understanding of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 is reviewed with special reference to immune cell activation. Moreover, the potential implications of these new insights for immunomodulation and biological therapy in IBD are discussed.
- inflammatory bowel disease
This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding This study was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG SFB 643; SFB1181; TRR241; FOR2438; KFO257).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.