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Colombo C, Alicandro G, Daccó V, Gagliano V, Morlacchi LC, Casciaro R, Pisi G, Francalanci M, Badolato R, Bignamini E, Messore B, Lucanto MC, Leonetti G, Maschio M, Cipolli M; Italian Cystic Fibrosis Society (SIFC) Study Group for COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 infection in cystic fibrosis: A multicentre prospective study with a control group, Italy, February-July 2020. PLoS One. 2021 May 13;16(5):e0251527. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0251527. PMID: 33984027; PMCID: PMC8118547.

Objective: To describe the symptoms and clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Methods: We carried out a prospective multicentre cohort study based on 32 CF centres and 6597 patients. Centres were contacted to collect baseline and follow-up data of patients who reported symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or who had contact with a positive/suspected case between the end of February and July 2020. Symptoms and clinical course of the infection were compared between patients who tested positive by molecular testing (cases) and those who tested negative (controls).

Results: Thirty patients were reported from the centres, 16 of them tested positive and 14 tested negative. No differences in symptoms and outcome of the disease were observed between groups. Fever, cough, asthenia and dyspnea were the most frequently reported symptoms. Eight cases (50%) were hospitalized but none required ICU admission. Two adults with a history of lung transplant required non-invasive ventilation, none required ICU admission and all patients fully recovered without short-term sequelae.

Conclusions: The course of SARS-CoV-2 in our patients was relatively favorable. However, COVID-19 should not be considered a mild disease in CF patients, particularly for those with severely impaired respiratory function and organ transplant.


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