Lack of protective effect of chloroquine derivatives on COVID-19 disease in a Spanish sample of chronically treated patients
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Background The search for a SARS-CoV-2 treatment has emerged as a worldwide priority. We evaluated the role of chloroquine and its derivatives in COVID-19 in Spanish individuals. Methods We performed a survey addressed to patients regularly taking chloroquine and its derivatives for the control of their autoimmune diseases. The survey was distributed with special attention to Spanish patient associations centred on autoimmune diseases and rheumatology and to the general population. A sample of untreated subjects was matched to the treated group according to sex, age range and incidence region. COVID-19 disease prevalence was compared between treated and untreated-matched control sample. Results A total of 319 surveys of patients regularly taking chloroquine and its derivatives were recovered for further analysis. The prevalence of declared COVID-19 status in the treated group was 5.3% and the mean prevalence among the untreated-matched groups was 3.4%. A community exposition to COVID-19 was associated with a greater prevalence of COVID-19 in both, treated (17.0% vs. 3.2%; p-value<0.001) and untreated groups (13.4% vs. 1.1%; p-value = 0.027). Conclusion We did not find differences of reported COVID-19 cases between treated and untreated groups, indicating a lack of protection by regular administration of chloroquine and its derivative drugs on COVID-19 infection. Of relevance, data indicates that patients that regularly take chloroquine derivatives are exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection and must take the same protection measures as the general population.
Is part ofPlos One, 2020, vol. 15, núm. 12, e0243598
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