COVID-19: Unanswered questions on immune response and pathogenesis: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

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The novel coronavirus disease 2019 has rapidly increased in pandemic scale since it first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. In these troubled days the scientific community is asking for rapid replies to prevent and combat the emergency. It is generally accepted that only achieving a better understanding of the interactions between the virus and the host immune response and of the pathogenesis of infection is crucial to identify valid therapeutic tools to control virus entry, replication, and spread as well as to impair its lethal effects. On the basis of recent research progress of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and the results on previous coronaviruses, in this contribution we underscore some of the main unsolved problems, mostly focusing on pathogenetic aspects and host immunity to the virus. On this basis, we also touch important aspects regarding the immune response in asymptomatic subjects, the immune evasion of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in severe patients, and differences in disease severity by age and sex. © 2020 The Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalJ. Allergy Clin. Immunol.
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Anti–SARS-CoV-2 immunity
  • COVID-19 pathogenesis
  • viral immune evasion
  • neutralizing antibody
  • adaptive immunity
  • age
  • Article
  • cellular immunity
  • coronavirus disease 2019
  • disease severity
  • gender
  • human
  • humoral immunity
  • immune evasion
  • immune response
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus
  • mortality
  • pandemic
  • pathogenesis
  • priority journal
  • SARS coronavirus
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
  • virus cell interaction
  • virus entry
  • virus replication
  • adolescent
  • adult
  • aged
  • Betacoronavirus
  • child
  • Coronavirus infection
  • female
  • immunology
  • male
  • middle aged
  • preschool child
  • sex factor
  • virus pneumonia
  • young adult
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult


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