In December 2019, a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 was first detected in Wuhan, China, causing outbreaks of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 that has now spread globally. For this reason, The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a public health emergency in March 2020. People living with pre-existing conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes (T2D), and chronic kidney and lung diseases, are prone to develop severe forms of disease with fatal outcomes. Metabolic diseases such as obesity and T2D alter the balance of innate and adaptive responses. Both diseases share common features characterized by augmented adiposity associated with a chronic systemic low-grade inflammation, senescence, immunoglobulin glycation, and abnormalities in the number and function of adaptive immune cells. In obese and T2D patients infected by SARS-CoV-2, where immune cells are already hampered, this response appears to be stronger. In this review, we describe the abnormalities of the immune system, and summarize clinical findings of COVID-19 patients with pre-existing conditions such as obesity and T2D as this group is at greater risk of suffering severe and fatal clinical outcomes.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; T2D; adaptive; immunity; innate; obesity.