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The role of IL-6 and other mediators in the cytokine storm associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection

Copaescu, A., Smibert, O., Gibson, A., Phillips, E.J. and Trubiano, J.A. (2020) The role of IL-6 and other mediators in the cytokine storm associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 146 (3). 518-534.e1.

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The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 presents with a spectrum of clinical manifestations from asymptomatic or mild, self-limited constitutional symptoms to a hyperinflammatory state (“cytokine storm”) followed by acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. The objective of this study was to provide an evidence-based review of the associated pathways and potential treatment of the hyperinflammatory state associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection. Dysregulated immune responses have been reported to occur in a smaller subset of those infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, leading to clinical deterioration 7 to 10 days after initial presentation. A hyperinflammatory state referred to as cytokine storm in its severest form has been marked by elevation of IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and other cytokines and severe CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell lymphopenia and coagulopathy. Recognition of at-risk patients could permit early institution of aggressive intensive care and antiviral and immune treatment to reduce the complications related to this proinflammatory state. Several reports and ongoing clinical trials provide hope that available immunomodulatory therapies could have therapeutic potential in these severe cases. This review highlights our current state of knowledge of immune mechanisms and targeted immunomodulatory treatment options for the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Publisher: Mosby Inc.
Copyright: © 2020 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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