An Evaluation of Type 1 Interferon Related Genes in Male and Female-Matched, SARS-CoV-2 Infected Individuals Early in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Publication date: Mar 20, 2024

SARS-CoV-2 infection has claimed just over 1. 1 million lives in the US since 2020. Globally, the SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infection spread to 771 million people and caused mortality in 6. 9 million individuals to date. Much of the early literature showed that SARS-CoV-2 immunity was defective in the early stages of the pandemic, leading to heightened and, sometimes, chronic inflammatory responses in the lungs. This lung-associated ‘cytokine storm’ or ‘cytokine release syndrome’ led to the need for oxygen supplementation, respiratory distress syndrome, and mechanical ventilation in a relatively high number of people. In this study, we evaluated circulating PBMC from non-hospitalized, male and female, COVID-19+ individuals over the course of infection, from the day of diagnosis (day 0) to one-week post diagnosis (day 7), and finally 4 weeks after diagnosis (day 28). In our early studies, we included hospitalized and critically care patient PBMC; however, most of these individuals were lymphopenic, which limited our assessments of their immune integrity. We chose a panel of 30 interferon-stimulated genes (ISG) to evaluate by PCR and completed flow analysis for immune populations present in those PBMC. Lastly, we assessed immune activation by stimulating PBMC with common TLR ligands. We identified changes in innate cells, primarily the innate lymphoid cells (ILC, NK cells) and adaptive immune cells (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells) over this time course of infection. We found that the TLR-7 agonist, Resiquimod, and the TLR-4 ligand, LPS, induced significantly better IFNα and IFNγ responses in the later phase (day 28) of SARS-CoV-2 infection in those non-hospitalized COVID-19+ individuals as compared to early infection (day 0 and day 7). We concluded that TLR-7 and TLR-4 agonists may be effective adjuvants in COVID-19 vaccines for mounting immunity that is long-lasting against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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Concepts Keywords
Female COVID-19
Lymphopenic COVID-19
Pcr COVID-19 Vaccines
Viruses COVID-19 Vaccines
Week Cytokine Release Syndrome
group 2 ILC (ILC2)
group 3 ILC (ILC3)
Immunity, Innate
Leukocytes, Mononuclear
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)
toll-like receptor (TLR)
Toll-Like Receptor 4
Toll-Like Receptor 4
Toll-Like Receptor 7
Toll-Like Receptor 7

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