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SLE, hydroxychloroquine and no SLE patients with COVID-19: a comment
  1. Beuy Joob1,
  2. Viroj Wiwanitkit2
  1. 1 Medical Center, Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
  2. 2 Department of Community Medicine, Dr DY Patil University, Pune, Maharastra, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Beuy Joob, Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok 10140, Thailand; beuyjoob{at}

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Inter-relationship between COVID-19 and rheumatic diseases is an interesting topic in clinical rheumatology. We found that article ‘Clinical course of COVID-19 in a series of patients with chronic arthritis treated with immunosuppressive targeted therapies’ is informative. Monti et al suggested for ‘avoiding the unjustifiable preventive withdrawal of DMARDs, which could lead to an increased risk of relapses and morbidity from the chronic rheumatological condition’. 1 Whether standard therapy for rheumatic diseases have any effect on clinical course of COVID-19 is an interesting issue. Clinically, co-occurrence between COVID-19 and other medical disorder is an interesting situation. We hereby would like to draw attention to a specific disease that is little mentioned, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is a common immunological disorder that is seen worldwide. There are several thousands of patients with covid-19 worldwide. Nevertheless, there is no case of SLE with COVID-19. In fact, a similar unusual clinical observation is already mentioned on COVID-19 and HIV infection.1 HIV‐infected patients who intake anti‐HIV drug might have lower risk to get covid-19 than general population since anti-HIV drug is proven for efficacy against the novel coronavirus.2 Regarding SLE, hydroxychloroquine is a widely used drug for treatment.3 Hydroxychloroquine is also reported for efficacy against COVID-19.4

Hence, hydroxychloroquine use might be an explanation for no report on SLE patient with COVID-19. This is an example that can support the suggestion of Monti et al on medication for rheumatic diseases in the present COVID-19 crisis.



  • Contributors BJ and VW equally contributed to the work and approved for final submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, conduct, reporting or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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