Abnormal antibodies to self-carbohydrates in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Dorothy L Butler, Jeffrey C Gildersleeve


SARS-CoV-2 is a deadly virus that is causing the global pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our immune system plays a critical role in preventing, clearing, and treating the virus, but aberrant immune responses can contribute to deleterious symptoms and mortality. Many aspects of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 are being investigated, but little is known about immune responses to carbohydrates. Since the surface of the virus is heavily glycosylated, pre-existing antibodies to glycans could potentially recognize the virus and influence disease progression. Furthermore, antibody responses to carbohydrates could be induced, affecting disease severity and clinical outcome. In this study, we used a carbohydrate antigen microarray with over 800 individual components to profile serum anti-glycan antibodies in COVID-19 patients and healthy control subjects. In COVID-19 patients, we observed abnormally high IgG and IgM antibodies to numerous self-glycans, including gangliosides, N -linked glycans, LacNAc-containing glycans, blood group H, and sialyl Lewis X. Some of these anti-glycan antibodies are known to play roles in autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders, which may help explain some of the unusual and prolonged sym...Continue Reading


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