COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 immunological research has predominantly focused on the role of innate cells such as macrophages, NK, neutrophils, and adaptive cellular and humoral immunity in pathogenesis. Recent Pre-print by Jouan and colleagues analysed the biology of innate T cells: mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, γδ T and invariant natural killer (iNK) T cells in critically ill COVID-19 patients with varying co-morbidities (46.7% with Hypertension; 30% with Type 2 diabetes; 10% with cardiovascular disease).
Researchers observed that innate T cells from COVID-19 patients were highly pro-inflammatory characterised by high expression of IL-17 but not IFN-g, compared to healthy controls. Interestingly, MAIT cells and iNKT cells from COVID-19 patients expressed high levels of both CD69 and PD-1, markers associated with activation and exhaustion, respectively. Based on this, and other evidence described in the Pre-print author concluded that sever COVID-19 is associated with “an altered innate T cell biology that may account for the dysregulated immune response observed in COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome.”
Journal Article: Jouan et al. Pre-print. Functional alteration of innate T cells in critically ill Covid-19 patients. MedRxiv
Summary by Cheleka Mpande