There is active interest in reconciling the tremendous variation observed in COVID-19 outcomes with host immunity. In this preprint, Sajuthi et al. analyse nasal airway epithelial transcriptomes from a large cohort of healthy and asthmatic subjects to distinguish relative contributions of host immune networks to coronavirus susceptibility. They use network co-expression analyses and transcriptomics on mucociliary cultures to show that genes implicated in SARS-CoV-2 infectivity, specifically TMPRSS2 and ACE2, are significantly influenced by type 2 cytokine-driven inflammation and interferon signalling, respectively. Although SARS-CoV-2-specific analysis and experiments are lacking, the study provides a rationale for why type 2 responses, which are aggravated in patients with asthma, might increase susceptibility to severe COVID-19.
Sajuthi, S. P. et al. Type 2 and interferon inflammation strongly regulate SARS-CoV-2 related gene expression in the airway epithelium. Preprint at bioRxiv https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.09.034454 (2020)
The author declares no competing interests.
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Hegde, S. Does asthma make COVID-19 worse?. Nat Rev Immunol 20, 352 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-020-0324-3