A prolonged innate systemic immune response in COVID-19

Sci Rep. 2022 Jun 15;12(1):9915. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-13986-5.


Despite the introduction of vaccines, COVID-19 still affects millions of people worldwide. A better understanding of pathophysiology and the discovery of novel therapies are needed. One of the cells of interest in COVID-19 is the neutrophil. This cell type is being recruited to a site of inflammation as one of the first immune cells. In this project, we investigated a variety of neutrophils phenotypes during COVID-19 by measuring the expression of markers for migration, maturity, activation, gelatinase granules and secondary granules using flow cytometry. We show that neutrophils during COVID-19 exhibit altered phenotypes compared to healthy individuals. The activation level including NETs production and maturity of neutrophils seem to last longer during COVID-19 than expected for innate immunity. Neutrophils as one of the drivers of severe cases of COVID-19 are considered as potential treatment targets. However, for a successful implementation of treatment, there is a need for a better understanding of neutrophil functions and phenotypes in COVID-19. Our study answers some of those questions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Extracellular Traps* / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / metabolism