Longitudinal immune dynamics of mild COVID-19 define signatures of recovery and persistence


SARS-CoV-2 has infected over 160 million and caused more than 3 million deaths to date. Most individuals (>80%) have mild symptoms and recover in the outpatient setting, but detailed studies of immune responses have focused primarily on moderate to severe COVID-19. We deeply profiled the longitudinal immune response in individuals with mild COVID beginning with early time points post-infection (1-15 days) and proceeding through convalescence to >100 days after symptom onset. We correlated data from single cell analyses of peripheral blood cells, serum proteomics, virus-specific cellular and humoral immune responses, and clinical metadata. Acute infection was characterized by vigorous coordinated innate and adaptive activation, including an early cellular and proteomic signature that correlated with the amplitude of virus-specific humoral responses after day 30. We characterized signals associated with recovery and convalescence to define a new signature of inflammatory cytokines, gene expression, and chromatin accessibility that persists in individuals with post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).