Immunologic perturbations in severe COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 infection

bioRxiv [Preprint]. 2020 May 18:2020.05.18.101717. doi: 10.1101/2020.05.18.101717.


Although critical illness has been associated with SARS-CoV-2-induced hyperinflammation, the immune correlates of severe COVID-19 remain unclear. Here, we comprehensively analyzed peripheral blood immune perturbations in 42 SARS-CoV-2 infected and recovered individuals. We identified broad changes in neutrophils, NK cells, and monocytes during severe COVID-19, suggesting excessive mobilization of innate lineages. We found marked activation within T and B cells, highly oligoclonal B cell populations, profound plasmablast expansion, and SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in many, but not all, severe COVID-19 cases. Despite this heterogeneity, we found selective clustering of severe COVID-19 cases through unbiased analysis of the aggregated immunological phenotypes. Our findings demonstrate broad immune perturbations spanning both innate and adaptive leukocytes that distinguish dysregulated host responses in severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and warrant therapeutic investigation.

One sentence summary: Broad immune perturbations in severe COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Preprint