Immune response in acute respiratory syndrome induced by the new coronavirus

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Waldemar de Paula Junior
Carina Silva de Freitas
Francisco Ferreira de Lima Neto
Nathália Alves Santana
Nathália Zenaide Durães Soares
Vitória Louise Mendes Fonseca
Renata Cristina Rezende Macedo do Nascimento
Andrea Grabe-Guimarães


Coronaviruses (CoVs) belong to the family Coronaviridae, which are enveloped and have a single-stranded RNA genome. The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the seventh known coronavirus that can infect humans and cause serious illness, such as acute respiratory syndrome. The coronaviruses already identified have contributed to the understanding of the clinical manifestations caused by SARS-CoV-2, as well as their associations with the immune system. The aim of the present study was to carry out a narrative review of the literature on the host's immune response to infection by the new coronavirus. The review contains basic and summarized information on the main mechanisms involved in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2. The characteristics of the infection were considered according to the following: from the initial contact with the host through binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2); the recognition of the pathogen by innate immunity cells; its containment mechanisms, including the production of effector cytokines and chemokines important in the development of the inflammatory process; and the participation of the complement system until the activation of the adaptive immune response. The probable occurrence of a host dysfunctional immune response and the escape mechanisms of the virus were also addressed. Despite numerous studies on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, knowledge about the host's immune response in COVID-19 is not fully understood. The present work established the relationship between the new coronavirus and the immune system, but further studies are needed for all the mechanisms of the process to be elucidated.


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Paula Junior, W. de, Freitas, C. S. de, Lima Neto, F. F. de, Santana, N. A., Soares, N. Z. D., Fonseca, V. L. M., Nascimento, R. C. R. M. do, & Grabe-Guimarães, A. (2021). Immune response in acute respiratory syndrome induced by the new coronavirus. ABCS Health Sciences, 46, e021306.
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