Is There Any Role of IL-6 Inhibition in COVID-19 ?

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Rebecca Cannon, Satyajit Das*

Journal Name: Coronaviruses
The World's First International Journal Dedicated to Coronaviruses

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An emergent coronavirus, now named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was declared a pandemic on 22nd March 2020. It has since caused unprecedented pressures on healthcare systems worldwide, leading to over five million cases and over three hundred thousand deaths. This has resulted in a global struggle to fight this disease, without any known cure or any definite treatment, and with no vaccine. This challenge is exemplified by many with COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) rapidly deteriorating to critical illness, developing respiratory failure, multi-organ dysfunction or failure, and septic shock. This rapid deterioration is thought to be due to activation of the cytokine storm. The cytokine storm is characterised by mass cytokine and chemokine release, leading to widespread multi-organ damage. One of these such cytokines that plays a role in the cytokine storm is Interleukin (IL-) 6. Raised levels of IL-6 in many diseases have been observed to both correlate with disease severity and predict poor outcomes. Early studies begun to show high levels of IL-6 in those with severe and critical COVID-19, and there is ongoing research into immune modulators to block IL-6, in the hope of halting disease progression and improving the chance of recovery. This article will explore the role that IL-6 plays in COVID-19 and whether an IL-6 blockade can prevent poor outcomes and reduce mortality.

Keywords: COVID-19, IL-6, Tocilizumab, Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, Cytokine Storm

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/2666796701999201123102516