Epidemiological and immunological features of obesity and SARS-CoV-2 – DocWire News

Posted: November 22, 2020 at 1:58 am

This article was originally published here

medRxiv. 2020 Nov 13:2020.11.11.20229724. doi: 10.1101/2020.11.11.20229724. Preprint.


Obesity is established as a key correlate of severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Multiple other epidemiological and immunological features are less well-defined including if obesity enhances susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, influences symptom phenotype, or impedes or alters the immune response to infection. Given the substantial global burden of obesity and given these uncertainties, we examined the epidemiology and immunology of obesity and SARS-CoV-2.

METHODS: Industry employees were invited to participate in a prospective SARS-CoV-2 serology-based cohort study. Blood and baseline survey measures that included demographics, comorbidities, and prior COVID-19 compatible symptoms were collected. Serological testing and interim symptom reporting were conducted monthly. SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays included an IgG ELISA targeting the spike RBD, multiarray Luminex targeting 20 viral antigens, pseudovirus neutralization, and T cell ELISPOT assays. Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were used to identify differences in seroprevalence, clinical features, and immune parameters by BMI.

RESULTS: Of 4469 individuals enrolled, 322 (7.21%) were seropositive. Adjusted seroprevalence was non-significantly lower with higher BMI. Obesity was associated with increased reporting of fever (OR 3.43 [95% CI 1.58-7.60]) and multiple other symptoms and aggregate measures. There were no identifiable differences in immune response between obese and non-obese individuals.

DISCUSSION: We present benchmark data from a prospective serology-based cohort on the immunoepidemiology of BMI and SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest obesity is not linked to an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; that symptom phenotype is strongly influenced by obesity; and that despite evidence of obesity-associated immune dysregulation in severe COVID-19, there is no evidence of a muted or suppressed immune response across multiple immune measures among non-severe infections.

PMID:33200139 | PMC:PMC7668749 | DOI:10.1101/2020.11.11.20229724

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