Impaired type I interferon activity and inflammatory responses in severe COVID-19 patients.

Science
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Hadjadj J, Yatim N, Barnabei L, Corneau A, Boussier J, Smith N, Péré H, Charbit B, Bondet V, Chenevier-Gobeaux C, Breillat P, Carlier N, Gauzit R, Morbieu C, Pène F, Marin N, Roche N, Szwebel T-A, Merkling SH, Treluyer J-M, Veyer D, Mouthon L, Blanc C, Tharaux P-L, Rozenberg F, Fischer A, Duffy D, Rieux-Laucat F, Kernéis S and Terrier B.

Science. 2020 Jul 13;eabc6027

DOI: 10.1126/science.abc6027

Abstract

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by distinct patterns of disease progression suggesting diverse host immune responses. We performed an integrated immune analysis on a cohort of 50 COVID-19 patients with various disease severity. A unique phenotype was observed in severe and critical patients, consisting of a highly impaired interferon (IFN) type I response (characterized by no IFN-β and low IFN-α production and activity), associated with a persistent blood viral load and an exacerbated inflammatory response. Inflammation was partially driven by the transcriptional factor NF-κB and characterized by increased tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 production and signaling. These data suggest that type-I IFN deficiency in the blood could be a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and provide a rationale for combined therapeutic approaches.

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