In December of 2019, an outbreak of severe respiratory infections was noticed in Wuhan, China. The cause was demonstrated to be a novel coronavirus, called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Since its initial identification, SARS-CoV-2 has spread worldwide and incited a global pandemic. The highly contagious nature of the virus and its high potential for morbidity and mortality has overwhelmed hospital systems worldwide with hospitalizations and deaths. Per the CDC, there have been over 48 million cases in the United States alone, and greater than 777,000 deaths reported due to Covid-19 infection. Several potential outpatient therapies have been suggested as a way to treat symptoms and prevent progression to severe disease, including colchicine, hydroxychloroquine, inhaled corticosteroids, ivermectin, and fluvoxamine. At this time, however, there is minimal data that suggests these therapies improve outcomes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmed hospital systems worldwide, the need arose for outpatient therapies and strategies to decrease hospitalizations and identify patients at risk for developing severe diseases. While individuals of all ages are at risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe disease, several risk factors have been identified that place patients at higher risk for morbidity and mortality. Patients of older age with comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and chronic lung disease are at much higher risk of developing severe symptoms and requiring hospitalizations than younger healthy individuals.
As demonstrated above, monoclonal antibody therapy used in the treatment of outpatient COVID-19 in patients at risk for developing severe disease has the potential to decrease hospitalizations and mortality.
While the initial data regarding monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of COVID-19 appears promising, at this time, the bulk of this data is preliminary and unpublished and has not been peer-reviewed. As more data is released and reviewed, the current recommendations regarding monoclonal antibody therapy may change. Nonetheless, monoclonal antibodies appear to be a promising option in the treatment of COVID-19 and have the potential to prevent hospitalizations and mortality. Monoclonal antibody therapy should be considered in patients who test positive and have risk factors for progression to severe disease. 2b1af7f3a8