Increased complement activation is a distinctive feature of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
L. MaHrishikesh S Kulkarni


Complement activation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, it remains to be determined whether increased complement activation is a broad indicator of critical illness (and thus, no different in COVID-19). It is also unclear which pathways are contributing to complement activation in COVID-19, and, if complement activation is associated with certain features of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as endothelial injury and hypercoagulability. To address these questions, we investigated complement activation in the plasma from patients with COVID-19 prospectively enrolled at two tertiary care centers. We compared our patients to two non-COVID cohorts: (a) patients hospitalized with influenza, and (b) patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with acute respiratory failure requiring invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). We demonstrate that circulating markers of complement activation (i.e., sC5b-9) are elevated in patients with COVID-19 compared to those with influenza and to patients with non-COVID-19 respiratory failure. Further, the results facilitate distinguishing those who are at higher risk of worse outcomes such as requiring ICU admission, or IMV. Moreover, the results in...Continue Reading

Methods Mentioned

bronchoalveolar lavage
antigen assay

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