Researchers from the Penn Institute of Immunology discovered three distinct immune responses to the SARS-CoV2 infection that could help predict the trajectory of disease in severe COVID-19 patients and may ultimately inform how to best treat them. The findings were published in Science.
“For patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19, there isn’t just one way for the immune system to respond. There’s a lot of heterogeneity, which we’ve distilled down into what we’re calling three “immunotypes,” says senior author E. John Wherry, chair of the department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics and director of the Penn Institute of Immunology in the Perelman School of Medicine. “We’re hopeful we may actually be able to predict, or at least infer, the different immune patterns a patient has based on clinical data. This would allow us to start thinking about enrolling patients to different types of clinical trials investigating treatments.”
The coronavirus triggers different immune responses and symptoms in critically ill patients, but how those two correspond has remained poorly understood, making treatment decisions more difficult.
While recent studies reveal details on the immune’s response to the virus, most have been single-case reports or focused on a small group of individuals. This is the first study, to the author’s knowledge, to offer up a comprehensive immune profile of a large number of hospitalized patients.
This story is by Melissa Moody. Read more at Penn Medicine News.