COVID-19 severity and SARS-Cov-2 vaccine safety in pemphigus patients

ÖZGEN Z., Aksoy H., Cakici O. A. , Aksu A. E. K. , Erdem O., Polat A. K. , ...More

DERMATOLOGIC THERAPY, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dth.15417
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: COVID-19, pemphigus, rituximab, SARS-CoV-2, vaccine, DISEASES


There are safety concerns in the treatment of pemphigus patients with immunosuppressants, particularly rituximab (RTX), in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the beginning, the reports were more pessimistic. However, few reports have recently pointed to manageable courses in this patient group. Therefore, we investigated the disease characteristics and demographic features of pemphigus patients in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to investigate the impact of immunosuppressants on the course of COVID-19 in pemphigus patients. Also, we tried to find out the rate of flares due to COVID-19 and SARS-Cov-2 vaccines. This multicenter study included 247 patients with pemphigus from three tertiary dermatology clinics with the specialized outpatient clinic for autoimmune blistering diseases. Patients were asked standardized questions in person or via telephone calls. Also, demographic data were collected from patients' files. Two hundred forty-four of 247 patients took the survey between August and September 2021. The data of three patients were obtained from the National Health System. We collected the data of all pemphigus patients who visited the clinics at least once in the past 3 years. Among 51 patients having COVID-19, 40 had a non-serious disease, whereas 11 required hospitalization. One patient died because of COVID-19 infection. The number of patients is limited, and data depends mainly on patients' statements. RTX treatment does not require additional safety cautions than other immunosuppressives.