High Anti-Interferon-Alpha Autoantibody Levels in Severe/Critical COVID-19 Patients from Peru

Maria J. Pons, Ana Mayanga-Herrera, Luciano A. Palomino-Kobayashi, Antonio M. Quispe, Manuel F. Ugarte-Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Innate immune responses through the production of type I interferon-a (anti-IFN-a) play an essential role in the defense against viruses. The autoantibodies (auto-Abs) anti-IFN-a are implicated in COVID-19 pathogenesis with higher levels among patients with worse prognoses. The study aimed to assess the levels of anti-IFN-a auto-Abs in Peruvian patients with severe/critical hospitalized COVID-19 compared to asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 outpatients and healthy controls. We analyzed 101 serum samples, including 56 (55.5%) severe/ critical, 13 (12.3%) asymptomatic/mild COVID-19 patients, and 32 (32.2%) healthy controls, which we tested using a commercial ELISA anti-IFN-a-auto-Abs kit. We observed seropositivity of 48.2% (26/54) to anti-IFN-a auto-Abs among the severe/critical COVID-19 group, but 0% (0/13) and 3.1% (1/32) among the asymptomatic/ mild COVID-19 and healthy groups (P = 0.021), respectively. Furthermore, we observed a significant association between the log10 of anti-IFN-a auto-Abs and the COVID-19 status, with the log10 of anti-IFN-a auto-Abs levels being significantly higher among the severe/critical COVID-19 group compared to the healthy controls (b = 1.20; confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.72–1.67; P < 0.001). Such association remains significant either when adjusted by age and gender (adjusted b = 1.16; 95% CI: 0.62–1.70; P < 0.001) and when adjusted by the subjects’ age, gender, and obesity (adjusted b = 1.16; 95% CI: 0.62–1.70; P < 0.001). Despite not measuring neutralizing activity, this study highlights the high frequency of these auto-Abs in the Peruvian population with a worse prognosis of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-570
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Interferon and Cytokine Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Peru
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • anti-IFN alpha
  • autoantibodies


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