Autoimmune anti-DNA and anti-phosphatidylserine antibodies predict development of severe COVID-19


Senior Member
High levels of autoimmune antibodies are observed in COVID-19 patients but their specific contribution to disease severity and clinical manifestations remains poorly understood. We performed a retrospective study of 115 COVID-19 hospitalized patients with different degrees of severity to analyze the generation of autoimmune antibodies to common antigens: a lysate of erythrocytes, the lipid phosphatidylserine (PS) and DNA. High levels of IgG autoantibodies against erythrocyte lysates were observed in a large percentage (up to 36%) of patients. Anti-DNA and anti-PS antibodies determined upon hospital admission correlated strongly with later development of severe disease, showing a positive predictive value of 85.7% and 92.8%, respectively. Patients with positive values for at least one of the two autoantibodies accounted for 24% of total severe cases. Statistical analysis identified strong correlations between anti-DNA antibodies and markers of cell injury, coagulation, neutrophil levels and erythrocyte size. Anti-DNA and anti-PS autoantibodies may play an important role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and could be developed as predictive biomarkers for disease severity and specific clinical manifestations.
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