Review – Open Access
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), provoked the most striking international public health crisis of our time. COVID-19 can cause a range of breathing problems, from mild to critical, with potential evolution to respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Elderly adults and those affected with chronic cardiovascular, metabolic, and respiratory conditions carry a higher risk of severe COVID-19. Given the global burden of asthma, there are well-founded concerns that the relationship between COVID-19 and asthma could represent a “dangerous liaison”.
Here we aim to review the latest evidence on the links between asthma and COVID-19 and provide reasoned answers to current concerns, such as the risk of developing SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or severe COVID-19 stratified by asthmatic patients, the contribution of type-2 vs. non-type-2 asthma and asthma-COPD overlap to the risk of COVID-19 development. We also address the potential role of both standard anti-inflammatory asthma therapies and new biological agents for severe asthma, such as mepolizumab, reslizumab, and benralizumab, on the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19 outcomes.