Omalizumab, which downregulates the immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptor site on plasmacytoid dendritic cells and thereby increases interferon-α (INF-α) production, may shorten the duration of viral infections by enhancing the antiviral immunity. A systematic review was conducted to investigate whether previous anti-IgE treatment with omalizumab could protect against Corona VIrus Disease 19 (“COVID-19”) (infection, disease duration and severity), whether IFN-α upregulation could be involved. The research included articles published from March 2020 to January 2022. An accurate search was performed on bibliographic biomedical database (MEDLINE – Pubmed, SCOPUS, EMBASE, BIOMED CENTRAL, Google scholar, COCHRANE LIBRARY, ClinicalTrial.gov) including cohorts, case reports and reviews. Different methods were used, based on the study design, to assess the quality of eligible studies. Several authors link omalizumab to a possible protection against viruses, but they often refer to studies carried out before the pandemic and with viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) (e.g., rhinoviruses -RV). Few cases of COVID-19 patients treated with omalizumab have been recorded, and, in most of them, no increased susceptibility to severe disease was observed. According to these data, the current indication is to continue omalizumab therapy during the pandemic. Moreover, although omalizumab may enhance the antiviral immune response even for SARS-CoV-2, further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. It would be helpful to establish a registry of omalizumab-treated (or in treatment) patients who have developed COVID-19. Finally, randomized controlled trials could be able to demonstrate the effect of omalizumab in protecting against severe SARS-CoV-2, through IFN-α upregulation or other immunological pathways.
Fuente: World Allergy Organization Journal
Available online 9 January 2023, 100741