Collection |

COVID-19 Watch

In this Collection, we bring you articles that highlight the latest research and insight into the immunology of SARS-CoV-2 and the associated disease COVID-19. They cover our emerging understanding of the immune response to this new coronavirus, prospects for vaccine development, immunopathology of COVID-19 and how it might be treated with immunomodulatory drugs. 

You can also read the latest news and opinion from Nature on the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 here, and research papers from across the Nature journals here

Reviews & Perspectives

As the world races to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, Dai and Gao highlight which viral targets are best to include in a vaccine and how this impacts the induced immune response and, ultimately, the safety and efficacy of a vaccine.

Progress | | Nature Reviews Immunology

In this Perspective, Alon and colleagues discuss how insights into immune cell trafficking during pneumotropic influenza virus infections may inform our understanding of immune cell recruitment to the respiratory tract in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Moreover, they examine the emerging knowledge of vascular pathologies beyond the lung caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Perspective | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Are you new to virus research and trying to interpret the ever-expanding literature on immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)? Here, the authors compare the different assays and animal models used to measure immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection and reconcile differences in apparent potency of antibodies assessed in different assays.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Immunology

How does the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive T cells in unexposed individuals change our understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic? In this Perspective, the authors provide a thought experiment to explain why the discovery of cross-reactive T cells may affect disease severity in individuals, but is unlikely to change our estimate of the herd immunity threshold.

Perspective | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) has been described as a mechanism that contributes to the pathogenesis of dengue virus infection. Limited evidence also suggests that it can also occur in other viral infections. Here, the authors explore the history of the ADE phenomenon, discuss the diversity of Fc effector functions and consider its potential relevance in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Immunology

In this Progress article, Zeyu Chen and E. John Wherry summarize early reports of the T cell responses observed in patients with COVID-19, emphasizing how different immune response characteristics in different patients may reflect a spectrum of disease phenotypes.

Progress | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Recombinant granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) as well as antibodies targeted at GM-CSF or its receptor are being tested in clinical trials for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This Perspective introduces the pleiotropic functions of GM-CSF and explores the rationale behind these different approaches.

Perspective | | Nature Reviews Immunology

This Progress article from Merad and Martin examines our current understanding of the excessive inflammatory responses seen in patients with severe COVID-19. The authors focus on the emerging pathological roles of monocytes and macrophages and discuss the inflammatory pathways that are currently being targeted in the clinic.

Progress | | Nature Reviews Immunology

In the short time since SARS-CoV-2 infections emerged in humans, much has been learned about the immunological processes that underlie the clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Here, the authors provide an overview of the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and discuss potential therapeutic approaches.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Here a group of leaders in the field define our current understanding of ‘trained immunity’, which refers to the memory-type responses that occur in the innate immune system. The authors discuss our current understanding of the key epigenetic and metabolic processes involved in trained immunity and consider its relevance in immune-mediated diseases and cancer.

Review Article | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Comments, Viewpoints, Web Watch

This Web Watch introduces the VaC tracker, a web resource that features an overview of the COVID-19 ‘vaccine landscape’, a clinical trials database and a ‘living review’ that distils the results of vaccine trials as they become available.

Research Highlight | | Nature Reviews Immunology

For this Viewpoint, Nature Reviews Immunology asked the presidents of 16 immunology societies from around the world to discuss how their society and its members responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their answers highlight the incredible contributions that immunologists around the globe have made following the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Viewpoint | | Nature Reviews Immunology

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of herd immunity has become a topic of much debate. This Comment examines the factors that determine it, discusses how far we have come and considers what it will take to reach herd immunity safely.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Recent studies have shown T cell reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 in 20–50% of unexposed individuals; it is speculated that this is due to T cell memory to common cold coronaviruses. Here, Crotty and Sette discuss the potential implications of these findings for disease severity, herd immunity and vaccine development.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Levels of the cytokine IL-17 positively correlate with disease severity in COVID-19. Here, the authors argue that existing anti-IL-17 therapies should be considered for the treatment of severe COVID-19.

Comment | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Preprint Watch

This preprint further characterizes a superantigen motif identified in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and evaluates a monoclonal antibody targeting this region that can neutralize live virus.

Research Highlight | | Nature Reviews Immunology

Highlights and In Briefs