Authors: Blanco-Melo D, Nilsson-Payant BE, Liu WC, Uhl S

PMID: 32416070 PMCID: PMC7227586 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.026


Viral pandemics, such as the one caused by SARS-CoV-2, pose an imminent threat to humanity. Because of its recent emergence, there is a paucity of information regarding viral behavior and host response following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we offer an in-depth analysis of the transcriptional response to SARS-CoV-2 compared with other respiratory viruses. Cell and animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in addition to transcriptional and serum profiling of COVID-19 patients, consistently revealed a unique and inappropriate inflammatory response. This response is defined by low levels of type I and III interferons juxtaposed to elevated chemokines and high expression of IL-6. We propose that reduced innate antiviral defenses coupled with exuberant inflammatory cytokine production are the defining and driving features of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; IL6; SARS-CoV-2; chemokines; ferret; interferon; transcriptomics; virus-host interactions.

More on: MATH+

More on: COVID-19 | SARS-CoV-2