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Approximately 200,000 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients worldwide receive B-cell-depleting immunotherapy with rituximab (anti-CD20), which eliminates the ability to generate an antibody response to new infections. As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific antibodies might help viral clearance, these patients could be at risk of severe complications if infected. Here, we report on an MS patient who had received rituximab for ~3 years. The patient was examined 5 days before the onset of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms and was admitted to the hospital 2 days after. She recovered 14 days after symptom onset despite having a 0% B lymphocyte count and not developing SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies.

Original publication

DOI

10.1177/1352458520943791

Type

Journal article

Journal

Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)

Publication Date

09/2020

Volume

26

Pages

1261 - 1264

Addresses

Department of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital Bochum, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Keywords

B-Lymphocytes, Killer Cells, Natural, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Humans, Pneumonia, Viral, Coronavirus Infections, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive, Disease Progression, Lymphocyte Count, CD4-CD8 Ratio, Immunity, Cellular, Middle Aged, Female, Pandemics, Rituximab, Betacoronavirus