Cytokines are major players in orchestrating inflammation, disease pathogenesis and severity during COVID-19 disease. However, the role of IL-19 in COVID-19 pathogenesis remains elusive. Herein, through the analysis of transcriptomic datasets of SARS-CoV-2 infected lung cells, nasopharyngeal swabs, and lung autopsies of COVID-19 patients, we report that expression levels of IL-19 and its receptor, IL-20R2, were upregulated following SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of 202 adult COVID-19 patients, IL-19 protein level was significantly higher in blood and saliva of asymptomatic patients compared to healthy controls when adjusted for patients’ demographics (P < 0.001). Interestingly, high saliva IL-19 level was also associated with COVID-19 severity (P < 0.0001), need for mechanical ventilation (P = 0.002), and/or death (P = 0.010) within 29 days of admission, after adjusting for patients’ demographics, diabetes mellitus comorbidity, and COVID-19 serum markers of severity such as D-dimer, C-reactive protein, and ferritin. Moreover, patients who received interferon beta during their hospital stay had lower plasma IL-19 concentrations (24 pg mL−1) than those who received tocilizumab (39.2 pg mL−1) or corticosteroids (42.5 pg mL−1). Our findings indicate that high saliva IL-19 level was associated with COVID-19 infectivity and disease severity.

Fuente: Scientific Reports
Published: 26 September 2022