• GeNext Genomics

Cytokines, major role in COVID-19 Prognosis

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for an ongoing pandemic that has killed over 4,75,00 people globally and 14000 people alone in India. Also, the disease has paralyzed the global economy because of its devastating infection and widespread. SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans. It is a large family of enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses that infect lower and upper respiratory systems of Human.

In COVID-19, like any other ARDS, “cytokine storm” an uncontrolled over-production of soluble markers of inflammation which, in turn, sustain an aberrant systemic inflammatory response occurs and this is called Cytokine release syndrome (CRS). In COVID-19 patients, pro-inflammatory cytokines (eg, Interferon γ, interleukin (IL-) 1B, IL-6, IL-12) and Chemokines are significantly elevated. Observation has been made that COVID-19 patients requiring ICU admission displayed higher concentrations of CXCL10, CCL2 and TNFα as compared to those in which the infection was less severe and did not require an ICU admission.


This requires a serious concern to understand the prognosis of disease using these pro-inflammatory biomarker and understand the criticality of disease. Serial measurement of circulating cytokines levels in COVID-19 infected patients may be critical in detecting disease progression.


Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) is a pyrogen cytokine released from immune cells in the acute phase of inflammation and infection. It is a central cytokine in viral diseases and is associated with a number of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases


Interleukins are a family of cytokines involved in immune cells differentiation and activation. They mediate the traffic of immune cells to the site of the infection, IL-6 is the most abundant and plays a key role in the pathogenesis of the cytokine storm owing to its pleiotropic properties.


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