Are Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Increased Risk for Covid-19 Infection?

J Crohns Colitis. 2020 Mar 26;jjaa061. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjaa061. Online ahead of print.


Crohn's disease (CD)] and ulcerative colitis (UC), the main inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in human beings, are chronic, immune-inflammatory diseases, whose pathogenesis implicates a complex interaction between environmental factors and genetic susceptibility. These disabling conditions affect millions of individuals and, together with the drugs used to treat them, can put patients at risk of developing complications and other conditions. This is particularly relevant nowadays, as coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has rapidly spread from China to countries where IBD are more prevalent and there is convincing evidence that Covid-19-mediated morbidity and mortality are higher in subjects with comorbidities. The primary objectives of this Viewpoint are to provide a focused overview of the factors and mechanisms by which the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects the cells and to illustrate the link between such determinants and the intestinal inflammation. We also provide clues about the reasons why the overall IBD population might have no increased risk to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 and highlight the potential of cytokine blockers, used to treat IBD patients, to prevent Covid-driven pneumonia.