New insights into immune responses in severe COVID-19
A study by researchers at Stanford University and other institutions reveals how the immune system goes awry leading to severe disease during SARS-CoV-2 infections and may point to novel therapeutic targets. Taking a systems biology approach involving mass cytometry, transcriptomics and plasma proteomics using the Olink® Target 96 Inflammation panel, the authors discovered a spatial dichotomy in the innate immune response, characterized by suppression of peripheral innate immunity, in the face of proinflammatory responses reported in the lung. They also found a temporal shift in the cytokine response from an early, transient type 1 IFN response, to a proinflammatory response during the later and more severe stages. The plasma proteomics identified EN-RAGE, OSM and TNFSF14 as proteins that correlated with disease severity, which could represent potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19. These important novel findings were also verified independently using ELISAs for these proteins.
The study was recently published in Science:
Arunachalam et. al. (2020) Systems biological assessment of immunity to mild versus severe COVID-19 infection in humans. Science,DOI: 10.1126/science.abc6261 – see the article here.
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