Longitudinal immune dynamics of mild COVID-19 define signatures of recovery and persistence

bioRxiv. 2021 Aug 19;2021.05.26.442666. doi: 10.1101/2021.05.26.442666. Preprint


SARS-CoV-2 has infected over 200 million and caused more than 4 million deaths to date. Most individuals (>80%) have mild symptoms and recover in the outpatient setting, but detailed studies of immune responses have focused primarily on moderate to severe COVID-19. We deeply profiled the longitudinal immune response in individuals with mild COVID-19 beginning with early time points post-infection (1-15 days) and proceeding through convalescence to >100 days after symptom onset. We correlated data from single cell analyses of peripheral blood cells, serum proteomics, virus-specific cellular and humoral immune responses, and clinical metadata. Acute infection was characterized by vigorous coordinated innate and adaptive immune activation that differed in character by age (young vs. old). We then characterized signals associated with recovery and convalescence to define and validate a new signature of inflammatory cytokines, gene expression, and chromatin accessibility that persists in individuals with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).

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  • Preprint