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.