Immune mechanisms are involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune thyroidopathy. As is well known, adequate immune response is a key defense mechanism against an infection.
A completely or partially successful reaction of the body will be associated with no obvious or some manifestations of disease, respectively, but the host will recover. The patient with an insufficient immune system will be overwhelmed by the infectious disease, with a potentially lethal outcome. On the other hand, excessive immune response may be hazardous and be associated with an adverse outcome. Recent evidence indicates that around 10 % of severely ill patients with coronavirus infection experience sepsis with multiorgan failure due to uncontrolled immune response, thereby severely aggravating prognosis.
Autoimmune thyroidopathy is, however, not associated with immunosuppression or uncontrolled immune function. Autoimmune thyroidopathy is caused by local immune mechanisms, acting within the thyroid parenchyma. The part of the immune system responsive for the defense against viral infections (including coronavirus infection) is separate from these local immune mechanisms. Patients with autoimmune thyroidopathy are not at increased risk during coronavirus pandemic.