University Affiliation


Document Type


Publication/Creation Date



The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have triggered global pandemic that continue to impact adversely human health. New understanding has emerged about the innate and adaptive immune responses elicited in SARS-CoV-2 infection. The understanding of innate immune responses generated in hosts early in SARS-CoV-2 infection is vital for treatment efforts. Antiviral cytokines are released by innate immune cells in response to viral infections that play a pivotal role in limiting viral replication, pathology and generating optimal adaptive immune responses alongside the long-term memory responses against reinfections. One aspect of innate immune response generated against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo and which has received much attention has been high proinflammatory cytokine release in COVID-19 patients. Another vital discovery has been that the antiviral cytokine type I Interferon (IFN) family IFN-α mediates upregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) membrane protein in airway epithelial cells. ACE2 is a receptor that SARS-CoV-2 binds to infect host cells. New understanding has emerged about the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 induced exaggerated proinflammatory cytokine release as well as transcriptional regulation of ACE2. This review discusses various mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 induced exaggerated proinflammatory cytokine response as well as transcriptional regulation of ACE2 receptor. We further elaborate on adaptive and memory responses generated against SARS-CoV-2.


Molecular Immunology



Volume Number


Item Identifier

COVID-19_Teaching, Learning & Research_2020_05_19a

File Format


Citation/Publisher Attribution

Mumtaz Y. Balkhi, Mechanistic understanding of innate and adaptive immune responses in SARS-CoV-2 infection, Molecular Immunology, Volume 135, 2021, ISSN 0161-5890,

Rights and Access Note

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).



Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.