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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.