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Eosinophil Response Against Classical and Emerging Respiratory Viruses: COVID-19

Rodrigo-Muñoz JM1,2, Sastre B1,2, Cañas JA1,2, Gil-Martínez M1, Redondo N1, del Pozo V1,2

1Immunology Department, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria (IIS) Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain
2CIBER de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Madrid, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2021; Vol 31(2) : 94-107
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0624

Eosinophils were discovered more than 140 years ago. These polymorphonuclear leukocytes have a very active metabolism and contain numerous intracellular secretory granules that enable multiple effects on both health and disease status.
Classically, eosinophils have been considered important immune cells in the pathogenesis of inflammatory processes (eg, parasitic helminth infections) and allergic or pulmonary diseases (eg, asthma) and are always associated with a type 2 immune response. Furthermore, in recent years, eosinophils have been linked to the immune response by conferring host protection against fungi, bacteria, and viruses, which they recognize through several molecules, such as toll-like receptors and the retinoic acid–inducible gene 1–like receptor.
The immune protection provided by eosinophils is exerted through multiple mechanisms and properties. Eosinophils contain numerous cytoplasmatic granules that release cationic proteins, cytokines, chemokines, and other molecules, all of which contribute to their functioning. In addition to the competence of eosinophils as effector cells, their capabilities as antigen-presenting cells enable them to act in multiple situations, thus promoting diverse aspects of the immune response.
This review summarizes various aspects of eosinophil biology, with emphasis on the mechanisms used and roles played by eosinophils in host defence against viral infections and response to vaccines. The review focuses on respiratory viruses, such as the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

Key words: Eosinophils, Respiratory viruses, Immune response, Vaccines, Emerging viruses, COVID-19