Research Highlights: IgG Auto-Antibodies Neutralize The Ability of Interferons to Block COVID-19 Viral Infection

By Tokenzero – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Original Article:

  • Interindividual clinical variability in the course of COVID-19 viral infection is extremely large.
  • The study reports that at least 101 of 987 patients with life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia had neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies against IFN-ω (13 patients), the 13 types of IFN-α (36), or both (52), at the start of critical disease.
  • Few patients also had auto-Abs against the other three type I IFNs.
  • IFN-ω is a type I interferon that can be induced by leukocytes infected with virus.
  • IFN-ω demonstrated to have antiviral, anti-proliferation, and antitumor activities.
  • IFN-ω has been investigated as a treatment option for some diseases or viral infections in humans and other animals.
  • The IFN-α is one of the member of the type I interferons (IFN)s family and it is mainly involved in natural immunity.
  • IFN-α 1 is secreted by various cells in answer to a viral infection.
  • The main function of the IFN-alpha 1 is to alert the organism in case of viral infection by detection of abnormal double stranded DNA.
  • IFN-alpha 1 also inhibit virus multiplication by acting against the translation in infected cells.
  • Neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies present in patients with life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia neutralize the ability of the corresponding type I IFNs to block COVID-19 viral infection.
  • Neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies were not found in 663 individuals with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 viral infection.
  • Neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies were present in only 4 of 1,227 healthy individuals.
  • Patients with the neutralizing IgG auto-antibodies were aged 25 to 87 years and 95 were men.
  • A B cell auto-immune phenocopy of inborn errors of type I IFN immunity underlies life-threatening COVID-19 pneumonia in at least 2.6% of women and 12.5% of men.


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