Influence of obesity on serum levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies in COVID-19 patients

Daniela Frasca, Lisa Reidy, Carolyn Cray, Alain Diaz, Maria Romero, Kristin Kahl, Bonnie B. Blomberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-2), cause of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease of 2019), represents a significant risk to people living with pre-existing conditions associated with exacerbated inflammatory responses and consequent dysfunctional immunity. In this paper, we have evaluated the influence of obesity, a condition associated with chronic systemic inflammation, on the secretion of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgG antibodies in the blood of COVID-19 patients. Our hypothesis is that obesity is associated with reduced amounts of specific IgG antibodies. Results have confirmed our hypothesis and have shown that SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies are negatively associated with Body Mass Index (BMI) in COVID-19 obese patients, as expected based on the known influence of obesity on humoral immunity. Antibodies in COVID-19 obese patients are also negatively associated with serum levels of pro-inflammatory and metabolic markers of inflammaging and pulmonary inflammation, such as SAA (serum amyloid A protein), CRP (C-reactive protein), and ferritin, but positively associated with NEFA (nonesterified fatty acids). These results altogether could help to identify an inflammatory signature with strong predictive value for immune dysfunction. Inflammatory markers identified may subsequently be targeted to improve humoral immunity in individuals with obesity and in individuals with other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0245424
JournalPloS one
Volume16
Issue number3 March
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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