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Clinical Immunology Communications ; 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1819455


From asymptomatic to severe, SARS-CoV-2, causative agent of COVID-19, elicits varying disease severities. Moreover, understanding innate and adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 is imperative since variants such as Omicron negatively impact adaptive antibody neutralization. Severe COVID-19 is, in part, associated with aberrant activation of complement and Factor XII (FXIIa), initiator of contact system activation. Paradoxically, a protein that inhibits the three known pathways of complement activation and FXIIa, C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH), is increased in COVID-19 patient plasma and is associated with disease severity. Here we review the role of C1-INH in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. Additionally, we contextualize regulation of C1-INH and SERPING1, the gene encoding C1-INH, by other pathogens and SARS viruses and propose that viral proteins bind to C1-INH to inhibit its function in severe COVID-19. Finally, we review the current clinical trials and published results of exogenous C1-INH treatment in COVID-19 patients.

Heliyon ; 7(1): e05877, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002561


Inflammatory responses to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, range from asymptomatic to severe. Here we present a follow-up analysis of a longitudinal study characterizing COVID-19 immune responses from a father and son with distinctly different clinical courses. The father required a lengthy hospital stay for severe symptoms, whereas his son had mild symptoms and no fever yet tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 for 29 days. Father and son, as well as another unrelated COVID-19 patient, displayed a robust increase of SERPING1, the transcript encoding C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH). We further bolstered this finding by incorporating a serum proteomics dataset and found that serum C1-INH was consistently increased in COVID-19 patients. C1-INH is a central regulator of the contact and complement systems, potentially linking COVID-19 to complement hyperactivation, fibrin clot formation, and immune depression. Furthermore, despite distinct clinical cases, significant parallels were observed in transcripts involved in interferon and B cell signaling. As symptoms were resolving, widespread decreases were seen in immune-related transcripts to levels below those of healthy controls. Our study provides insight into the immune responses of likely millions of people with extremely mild symptoms who may not be aware of their infection with SARS-CoV-2 and implies a potential for long-lasting consequences that could contribute to reinfection risk.