Eur Respir J. 2021 Apr 1:2100130. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00130-2021. Online ahead of print.
Observational studies show that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with increased COVID-19 severity and mortality . Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), which are commonly used to treat COPD, have been associated with increased risk of bacterial pneumonia in COPD and impaired immune response to viruses. Whether this class of medication affects the airway expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptors and cofactors – changes which may modify COVID-19 susceptibility and outcomes – is currently unclear. We therefore examined the effects of ICS treatment on SARS-CoV-2-related gene expression in lower airway bronchial epithelial cells (BECs) in a randomised controlled trial of COPD patients.