Authors: Schiaffino MT, Di Natale M, Garcia-Martinez E, Navarro J, Munoz-Blanco JL, Demelo-Rodriguez P

PMID: 32738141 PMCID: PMC7454719 DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa485


Background: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, we detected a new immunofluorescence (IF) pattern in serum autoantibody (autoAb) screening of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients.

Methods: The IF pattern was composed of liver and gastric mucosa staining on rat kidney/liver/stomach sections.

Results: We describe 12 patients positive for the cross-reactive antibody, compared with a negative group of 43 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, finding association with either neurologic or thrombotic complications. In sequential pre- and post-COVID-19 serum samples, we confirmed autoAb seroconversion.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that autoAb screening in COVID-19 patients may be easily performed by IF and alert for autoreactive-mediated complications such as thrombotic or neurologic events.

Keywords: COVID-19; autoantibody; autoimmunity; immunofluorescence; molecular mimicry.