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High baseline frequencies of natural killer cells are associated with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection

Graydon et al., Current Research in Immunology, doi:10.1016/j.crimmu.2023.100064
Jul 2023  
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Analysis of 88 COVID+ patients in the USA showing that a higher frequency of natural killer (NK) cells was associated with asymptomatic infection.
Improved NK cell numbers and functioning has been shown for exercise Oh, better sleep Irwin, vitamin C Vojdani, vitamin D Oh, zinc Rolles, and probiotics Finamore.
The immune effects of probiotics are strain-specific.
Graydon et al., 15 Jul 2023, prospective, USA, peer-reviewed, mean age 19.1, 12 authors, study period 11 May, 2020 - 4 November, 2020.
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High baseline frequencies of natural killer cells are associated with asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection
Elizabeth K Graydon, Allison M W Malloy, Kawthar Machmach, Peifang Sun, Dominic Paquin-Proulx, Stephen Lizewski, Rhonda Lizewski, Dawn L Weir, Carl W Goforth, Stephen K Anderson, Andrew G Letizia, Edward Mitre
Current Research in Immunology, doi:10.1016/j.crimmu.2023.100064
This study tested the hypothesis that high frequencies of natural killer (NK) cells are protective against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection. Samples were utilized from the COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines study, a prospective, observational study of SARS-CoV-2 infection in which participants were enrolled prior to infection and then serially monitored for development of symptomatic or asymptomatic infection. Frequencies and phenotypes of NK cells (CD3 -CD14 -CD19 -CD56 + ) were assessed by flow cytometry. Individuals that developed asymptomatic infections were found to have higher pre-infection frequencies of total NK cells compared to symptomatic individuals (10.61% [SD 4.5] vs 8.33% [SD 4.6], p = 0.011). Circulating total NK cells decreased over the course of infection, reaching a nadir at 4 weeks, while immature NK cells increased, a finding confirmed by multidimensional reduction analysis. These results indicate that NK cells likely play a key role in controlling the severity of clinical illness in individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Declaration of competing interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, the U.S. Government, nor the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Appendix A. Supplementary data Supplementary data to this article can be found online at https://doi. org/10.1016/j.crimmu.2023.100064.
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