Better understanding of the interface between the mechanisms that define infectious disease and rheumatology is contributing to progress toward COVID-19 treatments and a vaccine, according to Eric Rubin, MD.
Clinicians need knowledge in this area because patients will come to them with questions and interest in these treatments, said Neha Shah, MD. Patients want additional things that they can do to help their autoimmune process besides prescription medications.
Biomarkers have the potential to turn that tide through earlier identification of need for intervention, earlier identification and follow-up of specific organ involvement, better measuring of disease activity, and increased ability to predict disease severity.
There are not enough providers who feel comfortable taking care of adults with synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, osteitis (SAPHO) syndrome, and many rheumatologists may treat only one or two of these patients in their careers.
Communications between B cells and T cells have a fundamental role in autoantibody production, and an educational session at ACR Convergence 2020 will review how follicular T helper cells, germinal center B cells, and plasma cells impact autoimmune disease.