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La Rivista Italiana della Medicina di Laboratorio 2021 May 27

DOI: 10.23736/S1825-859X.21.00104-3

Copyright © 2021 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Autoimmunity and Covid-19

Maria INFANTINO 1 , Maurizio BENUCCI 2, Mariangela MANFREDI 1

1 Laboratorio Immunologia ed Allergologia, Ospedale S. Giovanni di Dio, Firenze, Italia; 2 Reumatologia, Ospedale S. Giovanni di Dio, Firenze, Italia


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The immune system plays a pivotal role in COVID-19 infection, being responsible for the clinical manifestations and prognosis of the disease. Hyperactivation of the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 virus may result, in some cases, in development of autoimmune disorders. In fact, a robust immune response is involved in the pathogenesis of both disease conditions. The molecular mimicry, the presence of circulating autoantibodies and the overlapping of autoimmune diseases in some patients show the potential trigger effect of SARS-CoV-2 virus on human immunity in developing autoimmune disorders. A variety of systemic or organ-specific manifestations have been reported to be associated with COVID-19, particularly: antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, Kawasaki syndrome, Guillain-Barrè syndrome, Miller Fisher syndrome, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia. However the existing evidence, which differs according to the specific disease, is poor mainly because it is based on case reports and case series without a long-term follow up. Since it is still unknown whether these autoimmune conditions may represent a transient phenomenon post-infection, more data are needed to thoroughly understand the relationship between COVID-19 and autoimmunity.


KEY WORDS: Autoimmunity; COVID-19; Pandemic

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