Andriana I. Papaioannou, MD PhD,1,∗Evangelia Fouka, MD PhD,2Νikolaos Tzanakis, MD Prof,3Katerina Αntoniou, MD Prof,3Κonstantinos Samitas, MD PhD,4Εleftherios Ζervas, MD,4Κonstantinos Κostikas, MD Prof,5Κonstantinos Bartziokas, MD PhD,5Κonstantinos Porpodis, MD.Prof,2Despoina Papakosta, MD Prof,2Αrgyris Τzouvelekis, MD Prof,6Irini Gerogianni, MD PhD,7Οurania Κotsiou, MD Prof,7Μichael Μakris, MD PhD,8Νikoletta Rovina, MD Prof,9Garyfallia Vlachou, MD,10Μiltiadis Μarkatos, MD,11Stelios Vittorakis, MD,12Κonstantinos Κatsoulis, MD PhD,13Ilias Papanikolaou, MD PhD,14Andreas Afthinos, MD,14Paraskevi Κatsaounou, MD Prof,15Paschalis Steiropoulos, MD Prof,16Dimitrios Latsios, MD PhD,17Katerina Dimakou, MD PhD,18Koukidou Sofia, MD,18Georgios Hillas, MD PhD,18Stavros Τryfon, MD PhD,19Maria Kallieri, MD,1Athina Georgopoulou, MD,9Pantelis Avarlis, MD,20Petros Bakakos, MD Prof,9Κaterina Μarkopoulou, MD PhD,19Εleni Gaki, MD PhD,21Asimina Paspala, MD,22Zacharoula Kyriakaki, MD,23Konstantinos I. Gourgoulianis, MD Prof,7Spyridon Papiris, MD Prof,1 and Stelios Loukides, MD Prof1
At the beginning of the pandemic, there have been considerable concerns regarding COVID-19 severity and outcomes in severe asthma patients treated with biologics.
To prospectively observe a cohort of severe asthmatics treated with biologics for the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease severity during COVID-19 pandemic.
Physicians from centers treating severe asthma patients all over Greece provided demographic and medical data regarding their patients treated with biologics. Physicians were also asked to follow up patients during the pandemic and to perform a PCR test in case of a suspected SARS-Cov-2 infection.
Among the 591 severe asthmatics (63.5% female) included in the study, 219(37.1%) were treated with omalizumab, 358(60.6%) with mepolizumab and 14(2.4%) with benralizumab. In total, 26 patients (4.4%) had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, 9 (34.6%) of whom were admitted to the hospital due to severe COVID-19, and one required mechanical ventilation and died 19 days after admission. Out of the 26 infected patients, 5(19.2%) experienced asthma control deterioration, characterized as exacerbation that required treatment with systemic corticosteroids. The scheduled administration of the biological therapy was performed timely in all patients with the exception of two, in whom it was postponed for one week according to their doctors’ suggestion.
Our study confirms that despite the initial concerns, SARS-CoV-2 infection is not more common in asthmatics treated with biologics compared to the general population, while the use of biologic treatments for severe asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic does not seem to be related to adverse outcomes from severe COVID-19.