In an effort to answer some of the most common questions coming in through IDF, we thought that we would address some of the concerns from the CGD Community with Dr. C. Buddy Creech, MD, MPH, Directo of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program and Associate Professor of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Since CGD patients are more at risk for secondary infection due to COVID-19, what can they do to protect themselves?
Self-isolation is key of course. The frequency of secondary bacterial infections, even in adults, has been far less than we would see with influenza. What we have tended to see is ventilator-associated pneumonia, which is a different entity altogether. Therefore, secondary bacterial infections may not be more frequent during this time.
Some individuals with CGD are still considering transplant/curative options such as gene therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Should they?
Unfortunately, now may not be the best time for transplantation. There are several factors to consider. First, we don’t know how severe COVID might be in someone in those early days post-transplant. Second, there may be significant shortages of healthcare personnel and beds in the weeks/months to come. Third, there will likely be significant shortages of blood products (red cells, platelets) that are vital in the post-transplant period. In general, I would imagine that non-essential BMT are on hold at most places in the US right now.
Do patients with CGD, carriers, and the general population build up antibodies to COVID-19?
All individuals, including those with CGD, should develop antibodies and cell-mediated immunity (t-cells) following infection with COVID. Therefore, there is no reason to suspect that should a child with CGD develop COVID that they wouldn’t be afforded the same protection. However, we don’t yet know how long – months, years—that others are immune after they’ve recovered.