SARS-CoV-2 and Manipulating the Immune System

Document Type : Review


1 Immunology and Microbiology Research Center, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology & Microbiology, Faculty of Biological Sciences and Technology, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global pandemic, with more than five million death. Patients can develop pneumonia, severe symptoms of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multiple organ failure. Similar to other viral respiratory infections, immune responses have a prominent role in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Despite the understanding of the immune response to COVID-19, there are still major gaps in understanding controversial reactions that impact infection fate and it remains unclear to what extent these responses are helpful or harmful in COVID-19. Thus, the purpose of this review is to discuss virology of the SARS-CoV-2, viral infection and immune characteristics, immune escape mechanisms and virus strategies in manipulating immune cells such as NK cells, Dendritic cells, T cells and B cells that converts it to the defective system, particularly in severe disease. Finally, we highlight the relevance of these tactics in determining infection fate.