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SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load, IFNλ Polymorphisms and the Course of COVID-19: An Observational Study

  • Autori: Amodio, Emanuele; Pipitone, Rosaria Maria; Grimaudo, Stefania; Immordino, Palmira; Maida, Carmelo Massimo; Prestileo, Tullio; Restivo, Vincenzo; Tramuto, Fabio; Vitale, Francesco; Craxì, Antonio; Casuccio, Alessandra
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


The course of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic to a multiorgan disease. In this observational study, we investigated SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects with defined outcomes, evaluating the relationship between viral load and single nucleotide polymorphisms of genes codifying for IFNλs (interferon). The study enrolled 381 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. For each patient, a standardized form was filled including sociodemographic variables and clinical outcomes. The host's gene polymorphisms (IFNL3 rs1297860 C/T and INFL4 rs368234815 TT/ΔG) and RtReal-Time PCR cycle threshold (PCR Ct) value on SARS-CoV-2 were assessed on nasal, pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swabs. Higher viral loads were found in patients aged > 74 years and homozygous mutant polymorphisms DG in IFNL4 (adj-OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.01-1.34 and adj-OR = 1.24, 95% CI = 1.09-1.40, respectively). After adjusting for age and sex, a statistically significantly lower risk of hospitalization was observed in subjects with higher RtReal-Time PCR cycle threshold values (adj-OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.91, 0.99; p = 0.028). Our data support the correlation between SARS-CoV-2 load and disease severity, and suggest that IFNλ polymorphisms could affect the ability of the host to modulate viral infection without a clear impact on the outcome of COVID-19.