The following is a summary of “Impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 on patients with inborn errors of immunity,” published in the APRIL 2023 issue of Allergy & Immunology by Tangye, et al.
Since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019 and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have lost their lives, emphasizing the crucial role of the immune system in combating new pathogens. Inborn errors of immunity (IEI) are genetic disorders that result in defects in the development or function of immune cells, leading to increased susceptibility to severe and recurrent infections and immune dysregulation.
Studying IEI provided valuable insights into the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in immune-mediated protection against infectious diseases. The knowledge was particularly relevant in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition, researchers have better-understood disease pathogenesis, immunopathology, and potential therapeutic strategies by examining individuals with known IEI and analyzing rare cases of severe COVID-19 in otherwise healthy individuals.
The investigation of individuals with IEI shed light on fundamental aspects of immune response to SARS-CoV-2. It helped identify specific immune cell types and molecules critical for antiviral defense. Furthermore, studying these rare cases elucidated mechanisms underlying immune dysregulation, including excessive inflammation and autoimmune phenomena during severe COVID-19.
Insights from the study of IEI helped improve therapies for emerging and established infectious diseases. For example, understanding the key features of human immunology, such as the roles of specific immune cells and molecules, can guide the development of targeted treatments and vaccines. Additionally, therapies promising in managing IEI-associated immune dysregulation, such as immunomodulatory agents, had potential applications in treating severe COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
In summary, the study of IEI in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection has provided valuable information about the immune response to this novel pathogen. Furthermore, by elucidating disease pathogenesis and immunopathology mechanisms, the study improved the understanding and management of emerging and established infectious diseases.