Am J Transplant. 2020 Aug 10. doi: 10.1111/ajt.16250. Online ahead of print.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is declared a global health emergency. COVID-19 is triggered by a novel coronavirus: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). Baseline characteristics of admitted patients with COVID-19 show that adiposity, diabetes and hypertension are risk factors for developing severe disease, but so far immunosuppressed patients that are listed as high-risk patients have not been more susceptible to severe COVID-19 than the rest of the population. Multiple clinical trials are currently being conducted, which hopefully can identify more drugs that can lower mortality, morbidity and burden on the society. Several independent studies have convincingly shown that cyclosporine inhibit replication of several different coronaviruses in vitro. The cyclosporine-analog Alisporivir has recently been shown to inhibit SARS-CoV2 in vitro. These findings are intriguing, although there is no clinical evidence for a protective effect to reduce the likelihood of severe COVID-19 or to treat the immune storm or adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that often causes severe morbidity. Here, we review the putative link between COVID-19 and cyclosporine, while we await more robust clinical data.