Working Paper Brief Report Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Potential Role of Th17 Immune Responses in Coronavirus Immunopathology and Vaccine-induced Immune Enhancement

Version 1 : Received: 7 April 2020 / Approved: 9 April 2020 / Online: 9 April 2020 (14:45:33 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


Increasing evidence points to host Th17 inflammatory responses as contributing to the severe lung pathology and mortality of lower respiratory tract infections from coronaviruses. This includes host inflammatory and cytokine responses to COVID-19 caused by the SARS-2 coronavirus (SARS CoV2). From studies conducted in laboratory animals, there are additional concerns about immune enhancement and the role of potential host immunopathology resulting from experimental human COVID-19 vaccines. Here we summarize evidence suggesting there may be partial overlap between the underlying immunopathologic processes linked to both coronavirus infection and vaccination, and a role for Th17 in immune enhancement and eosinophilic pulmonary immunopathology. Such findings help explain the link between viral-vectored coronavirus vaccines and immune enhancement and its reduction through alum adjuvants. Additional research may also clarify links between COVID-19 pulmonary immunopathology and heart disease.


COVID-19; SARS 2; coronavirus; Th17; eosinophils; heart disease


Medicine and Pharmacology, Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

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