The following article features coverage from the 17th Annual WORLDSymposium meeting. Click here to read more of MPR’s conference coverage.

Patients with Gaucher disease do not appear to be at increased risk for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, according to findings presented at the 17th Annual WORLDSymposium.

Study authors performed a cross-sectional study in a large group of patients with Gaucher disease (N=181) to evaluate whether they were at an increased risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. During the peak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, they gathered information on exposure, symptoms and testing from 150 adults and 31 children (54% male; 61% GBA N370S/N370S genotype) in the New York City area. The majority of adults (78%) were receiving treatment for Gaucher disease with either enzyme replacement therapy or substrate reduction therapy.

Within this cohort, 45 adults had primary exposure to COVID-19, with 17 reporting at least 1 symptom (mean number of symptoms is 3.8) and 28 being asymptomatic. Of the 33 adults with exposure who reported testing, 70% were negative for SARS-CoV-2.  Cough, fatigue, and fevers were the common symptoms reported and were mild to moderate in severity. One out of 51 asymptomatic adults and 1 pediatric patient tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.

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Based on these findings, the authors concluded that the probability of reporting symptoms or testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 in Gaucher disease was not impacted by male gender, older age, comorbidities, GBA genotype, or treatment status or type (substrate reduction therapy vs enzyme replacement therapy).


Fierro L, Nesheiwat N, Naik H, et al. Gaucher disease and SARS-CoV-2 infection: Experience from 181 patients in New York. Presented at: 17th Annual WORLDSymposium; February 8-12, 2020. Poster#071.