Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in people with cystic fibrosis in Europe between February and June 2020

European Cystic Fibrosis COVID project group, Lutz Naehrlich, Annalisa Orenti, Fiona Dunlevy, Irena Kasmi, Satenik Harutyunyan, Andreas Pfleger, Svetlana Keegan, Géraldine Daneau, Guergana Petrova, Duška Tješić-Drinković, Panayiotis Yiallouros, Alena Bilkova, Hanne Vebert Olesen, Pierre Régis Burgel, Tsitsino Parulava, Filia Diamantea, Andrea Párniczky, Edward F. McKone, Meir Mei-ZahavMarco Salvatore, Carla Colombo, Elina Aleksejeva, Kestutis Malakauskas, Marc Schlesser, Stojka Fustik, Oxana Turcu, Domenique Zomer-van Ommen, Anita Senstad Wathne, Łukasz Woźniacki, Luísa Pereira, Liviu Pop, Nataliya Kashirskaya, Milan Rodić, Hana Kayserova, Uro Krivecs, Pedro Mondejar-Lopez, Isabelle de Monestrol, Deniz Dogru, Halyna Makukh, Rebecca Cosgriff, Silke van Koningsbruggen-Rietschel, Andreas Jung, Vladimir Bobrovnichy, Ivan Bambir, Andrea Dugac Vukic, Pavel Drevinek, Milan Macek Jr, Harriet Corvol, Lydie Lemonnier-Videau, Elpis Hatziagorou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Viral infections can cause significant morbidity in cystic fibrosis (CF). The current Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic could therefore have a serious impact on the health of people with CF (pwCF). Methods: We used the 38-country European Cystic Fibrosis Society Patient Registry (ECFSPR) to collect case data about pwCF and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: Up to 30 June 2020, 16 countries reported 130 SARS-CoV-2 cases in people with CF, yielding an incidence of 2.70/1000 pwCF. Incidence was higher in lung-transplanted patients (n=23) versus non-transplanted patients (n=107) (8.43 versus 2.36 cases/1000). Incidence was higher in pwCF versus the age-matched general population in the age groups <15, 15-24, and 25-49 years (p<0.001), with similar trends for pwCF with and without lung transplant. Compared to the general population, pwCF (regardless of transplantation status) had significantly higher rates of admission to hospital for all age groups with available data, and higher rates of intensive care, although not statistically significant. Most pwCF recovered (96.2%), however 5 died, of whom 3 were lung transplant recipients. The case fatality rate for pwCF (3.85%, 95% CI: 1.26-8.75) was non-significantly lower than that of the general population (7.46%; p=0.133). Conclusions: SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in severe illness and death for pwCF, even for younger patients and especially for lung transplant recipients. PwCF should continue to shield from infection and should be prioritized for vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-577
JournalJournal of Cystic Fibrosis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Covid-19
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Europe
  • Incidence
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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