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Establishing the prevalence of common, clinically relevant tissue-specific autoantibodies following SARS CoV-2 infection
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  • A. G. Richter,
  • Adrian Shields,
  • Abid Karim,
  • David Birch,
  • Sian Faustini,
  • Lora Steadman,
  • Kerensa Ward,
  • Tim Plant,
  • Gary Reynolds,
  • Tonny Veenith,
  • A Cunningham,
  • M Drayson,
  • David Wraith
A. G. Richter
University of Birmingham
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Adrian Shields
University of Birmingham
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Abid Karim
University of Birmingham
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David Birch
University of Birmingham
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Sian Faustini
University of Birmingham
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Lora Steadman
University of Birmingham
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Kerensa Ward
University of Birmingham
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Tim Plant
University of Birmingham
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Gary Reynolds
NIHR
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Tonny Veenith
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
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A Cunningham
Birmingham University Medical School
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M Drayson
University of Birmingham Medical School
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David Wraith
University of Birmingham
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Abstract

COVID-19 has been associated with both transient and persistent systemic symptoms that do not appear to be a direct consequence of viral infection. The generation of autoantibodies has been proposed as a mechanism to explain these symptoms. To understand this phenomenon in more detail, we investigated the frequency and specificity of clinically relevant autoantibodies in 84 individuals previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, suffering from COVID-19 of varying severity in both the acute and convalescent setting. These were compared with results from 32 individuals who were on ITU for non COVID reasons. We demonstrate a higher frequency of autoantibodies in the COVID-19 ITU group compared with non-COVID-19 ITU disease control patients and that autoantibodies were also found in the serum 3-5 months post COVID-19 infection. Non-COVID patients displayed a diverse pattern of autoantibodies; in contrast, the COVID-19 groups had a more restricted panel of autoantibodies including skin, skeletal muscle and cardiac antibodies. Our results demonstrate that severe COVID-19 induces a pattern of autoantibodies that may correlate with and contribute to the immune pathology associated with the long-term sequelae of infection.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

26 Apr 2021Submitted to Clinical & Experimental Immunology
27 Apr 2021Submission Checks Completed
27 Apr 2021Assigned to Editor
28 Apr 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
28 Apr 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Major
02 May 20211st Revision Received
04 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
11 May 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
12 May 20212nd Revision Received
13 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
13 May 2021Editorial Decision: Accept