Expert Consensus: Main Risk Factors for Poor Prognosis in COVID-19 and the Implications for Targeted Measures against SARS-CoV-2

Viruses. 2023 Jun 27;15(7):1449. doi: 10.3390/v15071449.


The clinical evolution of patients infected with the Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) depends on the complex interplay between viral and host factors. The evolution to less aggressive but better-transmitted viral variants, and the presence of immune memory responses in a growing number of vaccinated and/or virus-exposed individuals, has caused the pandemic to slowly wane in virulence. However, there are still patients with risk factors or comorbidities that put them at risk of poor outcomes in the event of having the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). Among the different treatment options for patients with COVID-19, virus-targeted measures include antiviral drugs or monoclonal antibodies that may be provided in the early days of infection. The present expert consensus is based on a review of all the literature published between 1 July 2021 and 15 February 2022 that was carried out to establish the characteristics of patients, in terms of presence of risk factors or comorbidities, that may make them candidates for receiving any of the virus-targeted measures available in order to prevent a fatal outcome, such as severe disease or death. A total of 119 studies were included from the review of the literature and 159 were from the additional independent review carried out by the panelists a posteriori. Conditions found related to strong recommendation of the use of virus-targeted measures in the first days of COVID-19 were age above 80 years, or above 65 years with another risk factor; antineoplastic chemotherapy or active malignancy; HIV infection with CD4+ cell counts < 200/mm3; and treatment with anti-CD20 immunosuppressive drugs. There is also a strong recommendation against using the studied interventions in HIV-infected patients with a CD4+ nadir <200/mm3 or treatment with other immunosuppressants. Indications of therapies against SARS-CoV-2, regardless of vaccination status or history of infection, may still exist for some populations, even after COVID-19 has been declared to no longer be a global health emergency by the WHO.

Keywords: COVID; SARS-CoV-2; poor prognosis; risk factors; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19*
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2

Grants and funding

This expert consensus was technically supported with a grant provided by GSK Laboratories, Spain. Publication fees were paid by the Sociedad Española de Quimioterapia.