Published time: 15 April 2020
Authors: Carla Colombo, Pierre-Régis Burgel, Silvia Gartner, Silke van Koningsbruggen-Rietschel, Lutz Naehrlich, Isabelle Sermet-Gaudelus, Kevin W Southern
Keywords: Covid-19, fibrosis
Early and detailed characterisation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged principally through publications from China, where the disease was first identified. As the pandemic spread to Lombardia, Northern Italy and then globally, evaluating the impact on people with cystic fibrosis has become imperative, because the prevalence of this inherited condition is much higher in populations derived from Europe than in other populations. Since the beginning of the outbreak in Lombardia, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have been reported in ten patients with cystic fibrosis out of 42 161 people in the region known to have been infected. The number of infected patients in Lombardia make up a substantial proportion of the 101 739 total SARS-CoV-2 infections in Italy (according to available data on March 31, 2020). The Italian patients with cystic fibrosis were resident in endemic areas and acquired the infection from family members. These observations, as well as data from other European countries (five patients with cystic fibrosis in France have been reported to have SARS-CoV-2 infection, seven in the UK, five in Germany and three [one transplanted] in Spain) suggest few patients with cystic fibrosis, mainly adults, are becoming infected with SARS-CoV-19, without apparent effect on cystic fibrosis disease severity. From these data, it is not possible to identify factors that might be protective, for example use of long-term antibiotic therapy such as azithromycin.
Impact of COVID-19 on people with cystic fibrosis