Immune alterations during SARS-CoV-2-related acute respiratory distress syndrome


We report a longitudinal analysis of the immune response associated with a fatal case of COVID-19. This patient exhibited a rapid evolution towards multiorgan failure. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in multiple nasopharyngeal, blood, and pleural samples, despite antiviral and immunomodulator treatment. Clinical evolution in the blood was marked by an increase (2-3 fold) in differentiated effector T cells expressing exhaustion (PD-1) and senescence (CD57) markers, an expansion of antibody-secreting cells, a 15-fold increase in γδ T-cell and proliferating NK-cell populations, and the total disappearance of monocytes, suggesting lung trafficking. In the serum, waves of a proinflammatory cytokine storm, Th1 and Th2 activation, and markers of T-cell exhaustion, apoptosis, cell cytotoxicity, and endothelial activation were observed until the fatal outcome. This case underscores the need for well-designed studies to investigate complementary approaches to control viral replication, the source of the hyperinflammatory status, and immunomodulation to target the pathophysiological response.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Funding StatementThe sponsors of the study had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation, or writing of the report. This work was supported by the Investissements d'Avenir program, Vaccine Research Institute (VRI), managed by the ANR under reference ANR-10-LABX-77-01.Author DeclarationsAll relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript.YesAll necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.Yes All the datasets that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

medRxiv 2020.05.01.20087239