Metabolic Syndrome and Viral Pathogenesis: Lessons from Influenza and Coronaviruses

J Virol. 2020 Aug 31;94(18):e00665-20. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00665-20. Print 2020 Aug 31.


Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of severe disease due to viral infection. Yet few studies have assessed the pathogenesis of respiratory viruses in high-risk populations. Here, we summarize how metabolic dysregulation impairs immune responses, and we define the role of metabolism during influenza virus and coronavirus infections. We also discuss the use of various in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo models to elucidate the contributions of host factors to viral susceptibility, immunity, and disease severity.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; diabetes; influenza; metabolic syndrome; models of metabolic syndrome; obesity; type 2 diabetes mellitus; viral pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human / complications*
  • Influenza, Human / virology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers