Type I Interferon Signature in Chilblain-Like Lesions Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dermatopathology (Basel). 2020 Dec 4;7(3):57-63. doi: 10.3390/dermatopathology7030010.


Contemporarily to the new SARS-CoV-2 mediated COVID-19 pandemic, a rise in patients with acral chilblain lesions has been described. They manifest late after mild disease or asymptomatic exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Their pathogenic evolution is currently unknown. In biopsies from three patients with acral partially ulcerating chilblain lesions that occurred associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, we analysed the expression of type I interferon induced proteins and signal transduction kinases. Histology demonstrated perivascular and periadnexal lymphohistiocytic infiltrates and endothelial dominated MxA-staining, as well as pJAK1 activation. Our findings demonstrate induction of the type I IFN pathway in lesional sections of COVID-19-associated chilblain-like lesions. This may indicate a local antiviral immune activation status associated with preceding exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; chilblain; type I interferon.

Publication types

  • Case Reports