New Onset of Autoimmune Diseases Following COVID-19 Diagnosis

Cells. 2021 Dec 20;10(12):3592. doi: 10.3390/cells10123592.


There is growing evidence that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can lead to a dysregulation of the immune system with the development of autoimmune phenomena. The consequence of this immune dysregulation ranges from the production of autoantibodies to the onset of rheumatic autoimmune disease. In this context, we conducted a systematic review to analyze the current data regarding the new-onset systemic and rheumatic autoimmune diseases in COVID-19 patients. A literature search in PubMed and Scopus databases from December 2019 to September 2021 identified 99 patients that fulfilled the specific diagnostic/classification criteria and/or nomenclature for each rheumatic autoimmune disease. The main diseases reported were vasculitis and arthritis. Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, systemic lupus erythematosus, and sarcoidosis were also reported in a limited number of patients, as well as isolated cases of systemic sclerosis and adult-onset Still's disease. These findings highlight the potential spectrum of systemic and rheumatic autoimmune diseases that could be precipitated by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Complementary studies are needed to discern the link between the SARS-CoV-2 and new onset-rheumatic diseases so that this knowledge can be used in early diagnosis and the most suitable management.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; autoimmunity; rheumatic diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases* / immunology
  • COVID-19 Testing*
  • COVID-19* / complications
  • COVID-19* / immunology
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*