An important challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic has been to understand asymptomatic disease and the extent to which this may be a source of transmission. As asymptomatic disease is by definition hard to screen for, there is a lack of clarity about this aspect of the COVID-19 spectrum. Studies have considered whether the prevalence of asymptomatic disease is determined by differences in age, demographics, viral load, duration of shedding, and magnitude or durability of immunity. It is clear that adaptive immunity is strongly activated during asymptomatic infection, but some features of the T cell and antibody response may differ from those in symptomatic disease. Areas that need greater clarity include the extent to which asymptomatic disease leads to persistent symptoms (long COVID), and the quality, quantity and durability of immune priming required to confer subsequent protection.

Fuente: Nature Reviews Immunology

Published: 19 October 2021