DURBAN – Coronavirus studies have been moving at an unprecedented speed as researchers band together to find answers.
Now a group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say that they have have discovered three distinct immune responses to the SARS-CoV2 infection that could help predict the trajectory of disease in severe Covid-19 patients and may ultimately inform how to best treat them.
“For patients who are hospitalised with Covid-19, there isn’t just one way for the immune system to respond. There’s a lot of heterogeneity, which we’ve distilled down into what we’re calling three ‘immunotypes,’.We’re hopeful we may actually be able to predict, or at least infer, the different immune patterns a patient has based on clinical data. This would allow us to start thinking about enrolling patients to different types of clinical trials investigating treatments,”said senior author of the study Dr John Wherry.
The study included 90 hospitalised patients treated at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 29 non-hospitalised patients, and 44 healthy donors with no Covid-19 infection. The immune responses varied among the group, but there were patterns that hold clinical promise.
While recent studies reveal details on the immune’s response to the virus, most have been single-case reports or focused on a small group of individuals. This is the first study, to the author’s knowledge, to offer up a comprehensive immune profile of a large number of hospitalized patients.
Praising the findings of the research in a news release, Jonathan A Epstein, MD, executive vice dean, chief scientific officer and a professor of cardiovascular research at Penn University said: “The deep immune-profiling work the investigators applied here is likely to be useful not only now, for this disease, but into the future for many others.”
For LIVE updates on the Coronavirus pandemic, follow us on Twitter: @sacoronamonitor