COVID-19: Complement, Coagulation, and Collateral Damage

Martin W. Lo, Claudia Kemper, Trent M. Woodruff*

*Corresponding author for this work
30 Citations (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Although most people are immunocompetent to the virus, a small group fail to mount an effective antiviral response and develop chronic infections that trigger hyperinflammation. This results in major complications, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and multiorgan failure, which all carry poor prognoses. Emerging evidence suggests that the complement system plays a key role in this inflammatory reaction. Indeed, patients with severe COVID-19 show prominent complement activation in their lung, skin, and sera, and those individuals who were treated with complement inhibitors all recovered with no adverse reactions. These and other studies hint at complement’s therapeutic potential in these sequalae, and thus, to support drug development, in this review, we provide a summary of COVID-19 and review complement’s role in COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome and coagulopathy. The Journal of Immunology, 2020, 205: 1488–1495.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1488-1495
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15.09.2020

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)

Coronavirus related work

  • Research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19


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