COVID-19 in patients with primary and secondary immunodeficiency: the United Kingdom experience

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Dec 15;S0091-6749(20)32406-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.12.620. Online ahead of print.


Background: As of November 2020, SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in 55 million infections worldwide and over 1.3 million deaths from COVID-19. Outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection in individuals with primary immunodeficiency or symptomatic secondary immunodeficiency remain uncertain.

Objectives: To document the outcomes of individuals with primary or symptomatic secondary immunodeficiency following COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.

Methods: At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom Primary Immunodeficiency Network (UK PIN) established a registry of cases to collate the nationwide outcomes of COVID-19 in individuals with PID or symptomatic SID and determine risk factors associated with morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 in these patient groups.

Results: 100 patients had been enrolled by 1st July 2020, 60 with primary immunodeficiency (PID), 7 with other inborn errors of immunity including autoinflammatory diseases and C1 inhibitor deficiency and 33 with symptomatic secondary immunodeficiency (SID). In individuals with PID, 53.3% (n=32/60) were hospitalized, the infection fatality rate (IFR) was 20.0% (n=12/60), the case fatality rate (CFR) was 31.6% (n=12/38) and the inpatient mortality 37.5% (n=12/32). Individuals with SID had worse outcomes than those with PID. 75.8% (n=25/33) were hospitalized, the IFR was 33.3% (n=11/33), the CFR was 39.2% (n=11/28), and inpatient mortality 44.0% (n=11/25).

Conclusions: In comparison to the general population, adult patients with PID and symptomatic SID display greater morbidity and mortality from COVID-19. This increased risk must be reflected in public health guidelines to adequately protect vulnerable patients from exposure to the virus.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; primary immunodeficiency; secondary immunodeficiency.