Autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases and symptomatic COVID-19

This study analyses if patients with autoimmune diseases and coronavirus infection have a lower risk of developing severe COVID

Keywords: Adverse outcome; Autoimmune diseases; COVID-19; Immunosuppression; Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.


Images of some results obtained

Flowchart for selection of patients for matched-cohort study.
Highest value of clinical status using 7-category ordinal scale during admission.

Description of the Study:

  • Title: A multidisciplinary registry of patients with autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases with symptomatic COVID-19 from a single center.
  • Principal investigators: Juan C. Sarmiento-Monroy, Gerard Espinosa, Maria-Carlota Londoño and et al.
  • Center of Implementation: Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.
  • Study Population: Patients ≥18 years, symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection (either confirmed by RT-PCR SARS-CoV-2 positive test or probable cases), and a medical diagnosis of at least one well-characterized autoimmune disease (AID) or immune-mediated disease (IMID).
  • Study Type: Retrospective observational study.
  • Design: A retrospective observational study was conducted from the 1st of March until May 29th, 2020 in a University tertiary hospital in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Methods: Patients with an underlying AI/IMID and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified in our local SARS-CoV-2 infection database. Controls (2:1) were selected from the same database and matched by age and gender.

Objectives of the Study:

Principal Objective: To describe a multidisciplinary cohort of patients with autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in a single tertiary center and analyze sociodemographic, clinical, and therapeutic factors associated with poor outcomes.

More about this Study:

Scientific context: There is increasing interest regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with autoimmune and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (AI/IMID) with some discrepancies in different cohorts about their risk and outcomes.

Conclusions: Compared to the control group, which did not have autoimmune diseases, the studied patients had a significantly lower risk of having severe forms of COVID- 19.

The researchers’ hypotheses to justify this protective effect were that it may be related to the immunomodulatory medication and low doses of corticosteroids with which these patients are treated, or to the vitamin D supplements they usually take. It could also be due to the fact that this population has a better initial vaccination status that can prevent superinfections. And, finally, it could be that patients with autoimmune diseases have received stricter control of their condition during hospital admission, due to their condition.

Hospital Clínic: This is a public consortium formed by the Generalitat de Catalunya (CatSalut) and the University of Barcelona, and is organised into specialised institutes, diagnostic centres and transversal areas. This hospital is a highly specialised and technological public health centre, recognised for its level of excellence and quality in the fields of care, research, innovation and teaching.


Other Studies about Immunology:

Autoantibodies As An Indicator Of Poor Prognosis In COVID-19

This study shows that 10% of patients with severe COVID-19 have neutralising antibodies against the cytokine interferon type 1.

Prognostic Implications Of Neutrophil-Lymphocyte Ratio In COVID-19

This study aims to determine whether the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) can be useful in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

Risk Score For Predicting In-hospital Mortality In COVID-19

The RIM score, a simple and widely available tool that can help identify patients at risk of fatal COVID-19 outcomes.


Identifying true markers of protective immunity will allow for the identification of individuals, in particular healthcare personnel working with COVID-19 patients and in other critical areas protected from re-infection.

Sex Differences In The Evolution Of Neutralizing Antibodies To SARS-CoV-2

This study aims to determine the differences in the evolution of the immune response in the months following SARS-CoV-2 infection in men and women.

Convalescent plasma therapy and COVID-19

Convalescent plasma with anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies appears to be a very promising approach in the context of protracted COVID-19 symptoms in patients unable to mount a specific humoral response to SARS-CoV-2.


Are you immunosuppressed? Engage this study and help underestand the kinetics of adaptive immunization against COVID-19.

Developing Therapies Based On The SARS-CoV-2 Cellular Response

This study aims to better understand the functioning of the immune response to SARS CoV-2 in order to propose new treatments based on the body’s cellular response to COVID-19.