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Immunomodulatory therapies for SARS-CoV-2 infection: a systematic literature review to inform EULAR points to consider

Alunno, A; Najm, A; Mariette, X; De Marco, G; Emmel, J; Mason, L; McGonagle, DG; (2021) Immunomodulatory therapies for SARS-CoV-2 infection: a systematic literature review to inform EULAR points to consider. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219725. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To summarise the available information on efficacy and safety of immunomodulatory agents in SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS: As part of a European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) taskforce, a systematic literature search was conducted from January 2019 to 11 December 2020. Two reviewers independently identified eligible studies according to the Population, Intervention, Comparator and Outcome framework and extracted data on efficacy and safety of immunomodulatory agents used therapeutically in SARS-CoV-2 infection at any stage. The risk of bias was assessed with validated tools. RESULTS: Of the 60 372 records, 401 articles were eligible for inclusion. Studies were at variable risk of bias. Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were available for the following drugs: hydroxychloroquine (n=12), glucocorticoids (n=6), tocilizumab (n=4), convalescent plasma (n=4), interferon beta (n=2), intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) (n=2) and n=1 each for anakinra, baricitinib, colchicine, leflunomide, ruxolitinib, interferon kappa and vilobelimab. Glucocorticoids were able to reduce mortality in specific subsets of patients, while conflicting data were available about tocilizumab. Hydroxychloroquine was not beneficial at any disease stage, one RCT with anakinra was negative, one RCT with baricitinib+remdesivir was positive, and individual trials on some other compounds provided interesting, although preliminary, results. CONCLUSION: Although there is emerging evidence about immunomodulatory therapies for the management of COVID-19, conclusive data are scarce with some conflicting data. Since glucocorticoids seem to improve survival in some subsets of patients, RCTs comparing glucocorticoids alone versus glucocorticoids plus anticytokine/immunomodulatory treatment are warranted. This systematic literature review informed the initiative to formulate EULAR 'points to consider' on COVID-19 pathophysiology and immunomodulatory treatment from the rheumatology perspective.

Type: Article
Title: Immunomodulatory therapies for SARS-CoV-2 infection: a systematic literature review to inform EULAR points to consider
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219725
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219725
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: immune system diseases, inflammation, therapeutics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122412
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