The COVID-19 Cytokine Storm; What We Know So Far

Front Immunol. 2020 Jun 16;11:1446. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01446. eCollection 2020.

Abstract

COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading global threat that has been declared as a pandemic by the WHO. COVID-19 is transmitted via droplets or direct contact and infects the respiratory tract resulting in pneumonia in most of the cases and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in about 15 % of the cases. Mortality in COVID-19 patients has been linked to the presence of the so-called "cytokine storm" induced by the virus. Excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines leads to ARDS aggravation and widespread tissue damage resulting in multi-organ failure and death. Targeting cytokines during the management of COVID-19 patients could improve survival rates and reduce mortality.

Keywords: ARDS; COVID-19; IL-6; cytokine; storm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Betacoronavirus / immunology
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology
  • Coronavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / immunology
  • Cytokine Release Syndrome / pathology*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / immunology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / pathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • SARS-CoV-2

Substances

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Cytokines
  • IL6 protein, human
  • IL6R protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • tocilizumab