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

Author(s): Rebecca Cannon, Satyajit Das*

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

Volume 2 , Issue 7 , 2021

Article ID: e250621188252
Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


An emergent coronavirus, now named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was declared a pandemic on the 22nd March 2020. It has since caused unprecedented pressures on the 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 the 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 began 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.

open access plus

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 22 November, 2020
Article ID: e250621188252
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.2174/2666796701999201123102516

Article Metrics

PDF: 8