Cytokine storm and COVID-19 severity

Zaiga Nora-Krūkle, Anda Vilmane, Monta Ustinova, Laura Ansone, Modra Murovska, Jānis Klovins

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Cytokine storm in case of COVID-19 is considered to be one of the major causes of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure. It plays an important role in the process of disease aggravation. Aim of the study was to characterize the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the production of cytokines in patients with severe clinical symptoms and selected sets of samples from patients with mild or no clinical symptoms. Based on the analysis of the topical scientific literature on the peculiarities of the clinical course of COVID-19, a cytokine panel (GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17A, IL-18, IP-10, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, PDGF-AB/BB, TNF-α, VEGF-A) was created to determine the differences in cytokine levels in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients using the Luminex200 system. To date, we have analysed 104 plasma samples of which 61 [24 (39%) male, median age 40 years; 37 (61%) female, median age 44.5 years] were from outpatients and 43 [17 (40%) male, median age 61 years; 26 (60%) female, median age 71 years] from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The obtained results were analysed using GraphPad Prism 9.0. Comparing hospitalized patients against outpatients results clearly shows that most patients with severe COVID-19 exhibit markedly increased plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the statistically significant correlation between hospitalized patients and outpatient for multiple cytokines: IFN-γ, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, IP-10, MCP-1, TNF-α and VEGF-A. Our results confirm the previously published that a sudden increase in cytokine levels provoked by systemic stimuli, like a generalized viral disease may easily escape the regulation and trigger systemic responses within the definition of ‘cytokine storm’, systemic inflammatory response syndrome or ARDS.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cytokine storm and COVID-19 severity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this