The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a major concern globally. As of 14 April 2020, more than 1.9 million COVID-19 cases have been reported in 185 countries. Some patients with COVID-19 develop severe clinical manifestations, while others show mild symptoms, suggesting that dysregulation of the host immune response contributes to disease progression and severity. In this review, we have summarized and discussed recent immunological studies focusing on the response of the host immune system and the immunopathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as immunotherapeutic strategies for COVID-19. Immune evasion by SARS-CoV-2, functional exhaustion of lymphocytes, and cytokine storm have been discussed as part of immunopathology mechanisms in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some potential immunotherapeutic strategies to control the progression of COVID-19, such as passive antibody therapy and use of interferon αβ and IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) inhibitor, have also been discussed. This may help us to understand the immune status of patients with COVID-19, particularly those with severe clinical presentation, and form a basis for further immunotherapeutic investigations.
- immune response