Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are observed in patients with COVID-19, but the link between GI immune responses and disease outcomes is unclear. This preprint shows that COVID-19 severity and mortality, and levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines, are reduced in patients with GI symptoms. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 was highly expressed in small intestinal enterocytes and viral particles were detected in these cells in patients with COVID-19. GI inflammation was absent in patients with COVID-19, as shown by a reduction of cellular inflammatory subsets and downregulation of inflammatory pathways. This study provides a basis for exploring the mechanisms involved in attenuation of SARS-CoV-2-associated GI inflammation to aid a comprehensive understanding of organ-specific immune responses in COVID-19.
Livanos, A. E. et al. Gastrointestinal involvement attenuates COVID-19 severity and mortality. Preprint at medRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.07.20187666 (2020)
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Alrubayyi, A. Intestinal attenuation of COVID-19 inflammation. Nat Rev Immunol 20, 719 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-020-00466-y