Distinct immune signatures discriminate between asymptomatic and presymptomatic

Increasing numbers of SARS-CoV-2-positive (SARS-CoV-2pos) subjects are detected at silent SARS-CoV-2 infection stage (SSIS). Yet, SSIS represents a poorly examined time-window wherein unknown immunity patterns may contribute to the fate determination towards persistently asymptomatic or overt disease. Here, we retrieved blood samples from 19 asymptomatic and 12 presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2pos subjects, 47 age/gender-matched patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 and 27 normal subjects, and interrogated them with combined assays of 44-plex CyTOF, RNA-seq and Olink. Notably, both asymptomatic and presymptomatic subjects exhibited numerous readily detectable immunological alterations, while certain parameters including more severely decreased frequencies of CD107alow classical monocytes, intermediate monocytes, non-classical monocytes and CD62Lhi CD8+Tnaïve cells, reduced plasma STC1 level but an increased frequency of CD4+ NKT cells combined to distinguish the latter.

FIG: Study design and major clinical parameters of five participant groups

Intercorrelation analyses revealed a particular presymptomatic immunotype mainly manifesting as monocytic overactivation and differentiation blockage, a likely lymphocyte exhaustion and immunosuppression, yielding mechanistic insights into SSIS fate determination, which could potentially improve SARS-CoV-2 management.

Yu, S., Di, C., Chen, S. et al. Distinct immune signatures discriminate between asymptomatic and presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2possubjects. Cell Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-021-00562-1

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