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Distinct Immunological Profiles Help in the Maintenance of Salivary Secretory IgA Production in Mild Symptoms COVID-19 Patients

  • Santos, Juliana de Melo Batista dos1
  • Amaral, Jonatas Bussador do2
  • França, Carolina Nunes3
  • Monteiro, Fernanda Rodrigues3
  • Alvares-Saraiva, Anuska Marcelino4
  • Kalil, Sandra4
  • Durigon, Edison Luiz5, 6
  • Oliveira, Danielle Bruna Leal5, 7
  • Rodrigues, Silvia Sanches7
  • Heller, Debora7, 8, 9
  • Welter, Eliane Aparecida Rosseto7
  • Pinho, João Renato Rebello7, 10, 11
  • Vieira, Rodolfo P.1, 12, 13
  • Bachi, André Luis Lacerda2, 3
  • 1 Post-Graduation Program in Science of Human and Rehabilitation, Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Santos , (Brazil)
  • 2 ENT Research Lab, Department of Otorhinolaryngology –Head and Neck Surgery, Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 3 Post-Graduation Program in Health Sciences, Santo Amaro University (UNISA), São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 4 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Patologia Ambiental e Experimental, Universidade Paulista - Unip, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 5 Laboratory of Clinical and Molecular Virology, Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biomedical Science of the University of São Paulo, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 6 Scientific Platform Pasteur, University of São Paulo, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 7 Albert Einstein Institute for Teaching and Research (IIEP), Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 8 Post Graduate Program in Dentistry, Universidade Cruzeiro Do Sul, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 9 Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX , (United States)
  • 10 Department of Gastroenterology (LIM07), Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 11 Division of Clinical Laboratories (LIM 03), Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo , (Brazil)
  • 12 Post-Graduation Program in Human Movement and Rehabilitation, Unievangélica, Anápolis , (Brazil)
  • 13 Post-Graduation Program in Bioengineering, Universidade Brasil, São Paulo , (Brazil)
Published Article
Frontiers in Immunology
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
May 24, 2022
DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.890887
  • Immunology
  • Original Research


Background Relevant aspects regarding the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and the systemic immune response to this infection have been reported. However, the mucosal immune response of the upper airways two months after SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with mild/moderate symptoms is still not completely described. Therefore, we investigated the immune/inflammatory responses of the mucosa of the upper airways of mild/moderate symptom COVID-19 patients two months after the SARS-CoV-2 infection in comparison to a control group composed of non-COVID-19 healthy individuals. Methods A cohort of 80 volunteers (age 37.2 ± 8.2), including non-COVID-19 healthy individuals (n=24) and COVID-19 patients (n=56) who presented mild/moderate symptoms during a COVID-19 outbreak in Brazil in November and December of 2020. Saliva samples were obtained two months after the COVID-19 diagnosis to assess the levels of SIgA by ELISA and the cytokines by multiplex analysis. Results Salivary levels of SIgA were detected in 39 volunteers into the COVID-19 group and, unexpectedly, in 14 volunteers in the control group. Based on this observation, we distributed the volunteers of the control group into without SIgA or with SIgA sub-groups, and COVID-19 group into without SIgA or with SIgA sub-groups. Individuals with SIgA showed higher levels of IL-10, IL-17A, IFN-γ, IL-12p70, IL-13, and IFN-α than those without SIgA. In intergroup analysis, the COVID-19 groups showed higher salivary levels of IL-10, IL-13, IL-17A, and IFN-α than the control group. No statistical differences were verified in the salivary levels of IL-6 and IFN-β. Lower IL-12p70/IL-10 and IFN-γ/IL-10 ratios were found in the control group without SIgA than the control group with SIgA and the COVID-19 group with SIgA. Conclusion We were able to present, for the first time, that associations between distinct immunological profiles can help the mucosal immunity to maintain the salivary levels of SIgA in COVID-19 patients two months after the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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