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May 22, 2021

無症候性症例対重度COVID-19患者で発見された異なる免疫応答Science dailyより

Differing immune responses discovered in asymptomatic cases vs those with severe COVID-19



Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


Using data from the Human Cell Atlas, researchers have identified the differences in immune cells' response in those who had no symptoms compared to severe symptoms.


the Human Cell Atlas

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The largest study of its type in the UK has identified differences in the immune response to COVID-19, between people with no symptoms, compared to those suffering a more serious reaction to the virus.


Researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Newcastle University, University College London, University of Cambridge, EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and their collaborators within the Human Cell Atlas initiative, found raised levels of specific immune cells in asymptomatic people.They also showed people with more serious symptoms had lost these protective cell types, but gained inflammatory cells. These differences in the immune response could help explain serious lung inflammation and blood clotting symptoms, and could be used to identify potential targets for developing therapies.


European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)
specific immune cells
protective cell types
blood clotting

The research, published today (20th April 2021) in Nature Medicine, is one of the only studies to include people who were asymptomatic. This large-scale collaborative study is part of the Human Cell Atlas* initiative to map every cell type in the human body, to transform our understanding of health, infection and disease.

本日(2021420)に英国ネイチャー メディシンに発表されたこの研究は、無症候性の人々を含む唯一の研究の1つです。この大規模な共同研究は、健康、感染症、病気に関する理解を変更するために、人体のあらゆる細胞タイプをマッピングするヒト細胞地図(アトラス)計画イニシアチブの一部です。

Nature Medicine
:ネイチャー メディシンは、英国のNature Publishing Groupが発行している国際学術誌である。 医学に関する研究の成果を載せている。

So far, the COVID-19 global pandemic has caused millions of deaths and many more infections worldwide. Symptoms vary widely in severity and can range from a mild cough to severe respiratory distress, blood clots and organ failure. Several previous studies have highlighted a complex immune response in the blood, but until now the full coordinated immune response and how this differs between symptomatic and asymptotic patients had not been investigated in detail.


respiratory distress

In a new study to understand how different immune cells responded to the infection, a large team of researchers came together to analyse blood from 130 people with COVID-19. These patients came from three different UK centres (Newcastle, Cambridge and London) and ranged from asymptomatic to critically severe.


The team performed single-cell sequencing from ~800,000 individual immune cells, along with detailed analysis of cell surface proteins and antigen receptors found on immune cells in the blood. They revealed differences in multiple types of immune cells that are involved in the body's response to COVID-19.


antigen receptors

In those with no symptoms, the team found increased levels of B cells that produce antibodies that are found in mucus passages, such as the nose. These antibodies may be one of our first line of defence in COVID-19. However, these protective B cells were missing in people with serious symptoms, indicating the importance of an effective antibody-associated immune response at the nose and other mucus passages.



The team discovered that whereas patients with mild to moderate symptoms, had high levels of B cells and helper T-cells, which help fight infection, those with serious symptoms had lost many of these immune cells, suggesting that this part of the immune system had failed in people with severe disease.


In contrast, people with more serious symptoms leading to hospitalisation had an uncontrolled increase in monocytes and killer T-cells, high levels of which can lead to lung inflammation. Those with severe disease also had raised levels of platelet-producing cells, which help blood to clot.



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