Diverse immunological factors influencing pathogenesis in patients with covid-19: A review on viral dissemination, immunotherapeutic options to counter cytokine storm and inflammatory responses

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The pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is still not fully unraveled. Though preventive vaccines and treatment methods are out on the market, a specific cure for the disease has not been discovered. Recent investigations and research studies primarily focus on the immunopathology of the disease. A healthy immune system responds immediately after viral entry, causing immediate viral annihilation and recovery. However, an impaired immune system causes extensive systemic damage due to an unregulated immune response characterized by the hypersecretion of chemokines and cytokines. The elevated levels of cytokine or hypercytokinemia leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) along with multiple organ damage. Moreover, the immune response against SARS-CoV-2 has been linked with race, gender, and age; hence, this viral infection’s outcome differs among the patients. Many therapeutic strategies focusing on immunomodulation have been tested out to assuage the cytokine storm in patients with severe COVID-19. A thorough understanding of the diverse signaling pathways triggered by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is essential before contemplating relief measures. This present review explains the interrelationships of hyperinflammatory response or cytokine storm with organ damage and the disease severity. Furthermore, we have thrown light on the diverse mechanisms and risk factors that influence pathogenesis and the molecular pathways that lead to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and multiple organ damage. Recognition of altered pathways of a dysregulated immune system can be a loophole to identify potential target markers. Identifying biomarkers in the dysregulated pathway can aid in better clinical management for patients with severe COVID-19 disease. A special focus has also been given to potent inhibitors of proinflammatory cytokines, immunomodulatory and immunotherapeutic options to ameliorate cytokine storm and inflammatory responses in patients affected with COVID-19.

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