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Impact of obesity and SARS-CoV-2 infection: implications for host defence - a living review

Richter, Felix Clemens, Alrubayyi, Aljawharah, Teijeira Crespo, Alicia and Hulin-Curtis, Sarah ORCID: 2021. Impact of obesity and SARS-CoV-2 infection: implications for host defence - a living review. Oxford Open Immunology 2 (1) , iqab001. 10.1093/oxfimm/iqab001

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The role of obesity in the pathophysiology of respiratory virus infections has become particularly apparent during the current severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, where obese patients are twice as likely to suffer from severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than healthy weight individuals. Obesity results in disruption of systemic lipid metabolism promoting a state of chronic low-grade inflammation. However, it remains unclear how these underlying metabolic and cellular processes promote severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Emerging data in SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A virus (IAV) infections show that viruses can further subvert the host’s altered lipid metabolism and exploit obesity-induced alterations in immune cell metabolism and function to promote chronic inflammation and viral propagation. In this review, we outline the systemic metabolic and immune alterations underlying obesity and discuss how these baseline alterations impact the immune response and disease pathophysiology. A better understanding of the immunometabolic landscape of obese patients may aid better therapies and future vaccine design.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
ISSN: 2633-6960
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 5 January 2021
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:34

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