Perspectives of Immune Therapy in Coronavirus Disease 2019

J Korean Med Sci. 2020 May 11;35(18):e176. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e176.


The global fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is largely based on strategies to boost immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and prevent its severe course and complications. The human defence may include antibodies which interact with SARS-CoV-2 and neutralize its aggressive actions on multiple organ systems. Protective cross-reactivity of antibodies against measles and other known viral infections has been postulated, primarily as a result of the initial observations of asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 in children. Uncontrolled case series have demonstrated virus-neutralizing effect of convalescent plasma, supporting its efficiency at early stages of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Given the variability of the virus structure, the utility of convalescent plasma is limited to the geographic area of its preparation, and for a short period of time. Intravenous immunoglobulin may also be protective in view of its nonspecific antiviral and immunomodulatory effects. Finally, human monoclonal antibodies may interact with some SARS-CoV-2 proteins, inhibiting the virus-receptor interaction and prevent tissue injury. The improved understanding of the host antiviral responses may help develop safe and effective immunotherapeutic strategies against COVID-19 in the foreseeable future.

Keywords: Antibodies; COVID-19; Comorbidities; Convalescent Serum; Immunotherapy; Vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Coronavirus*
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment
  • COVID-19 serotherapy