Absence of Type I Interferon Autoantibodies or Significant Interferon Signature Alterations in Adults With Post-COVID-19 Syndrome

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Genetic defects in the interferon (IFN) system or neutralizing autoantibodies against type I IFNs contribute to severe COVID-19. Such autoantibodies were proposed to affect post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS), possibly causing persistent fatigue for >12 weeks after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the current study, we investigated 128 patients with PCS, 21 survivors of severe COVID-19, and 38 individuals who were asymptomatic. We checked for autoantibodies against IFN-α, IFN-β, and IFN-ω. Few patients with PCS had autoantibodies against IFNs but with no neutralizing activity, indicating a limited role of type I IFNs in PCS pathogenesis. In a subset consisting of 28 patients with PCS, we evaluated IFN-stimulated gene activity and showed that it did not correlate with fatigue. In conclusion, impairment of the type I IFN system is unlikely responsible for adult PCS.


Original languageEnglish
Article numberofad641
JournalOpen forum infectious diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10766412
Scopus 85182162255


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