Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can give rise to different clinical manifestations that are directly related to viral tissue damage or indirectly induced by the antiviral immune response. Hyper-activation of the immune system in an attempt to eradicate the infection may trigger autoimmunity. Several immune-mediated disorders have been described in SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. These include cutaneous rashes and vasculitis, autoimmune cytopenia, anti-phospholipid syndrome, central or peripheral neuropathy, myositis and myocarditis. On the other hand, rheumatic patients were reported to have similar coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) incidence, morbidity and mortality rates compared to general population. This opinion review will summarize the crucial immunologic steps which occur during SARS-CoV-2-infection that may link autoimmunity to COVID-19 and provides an opportunity for further discussion regarding this association.
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