COVID-19 mortality is strongly associated with the development of severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome with the worst outcome resulting in cytokine release syndrome and multiorgan failure. It is becoming critically important to identify at the early stage of the infection those patients who are prone to develop the most adverse effects. Elevated systemic interleukin-6 levels in patients with COVID-19 are considered as a relevant parameter in predicting most severe course of disease and the need for intensive care. This review discusses the mechanisms by which IL-6 may possibly contribute to disease exacerbation and the potential of therapeutic approaches based on anti-IL-6 biologics.
Keywords: Anti-cytokine therapeutics; Cytokine release syndrome; IL-6; SARS-CoV-2.
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