Lars Henrik Fugger

Recovery from COVID-19 in a B-cell-depleted multiple sclerosis patient

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Kate Attfield, University of Oxford, Oxford
  • ,
  • Astrid Kn Iversen, University of Oxford, Oxford
  • ,
  • Ralf Gold, Ruhr Univ Bochum, Ruhr University Bochum, MHRTC
  • ,
  • Lars Fugger
  • Aiden Haghikia, Ruhr Univ Bochum, Ruhr University Bochum, MHRTC

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 languageEnglish
JournalMultiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
Pages (from-to)1261-1264
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

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

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