Basophil response to SARS-CoV-2 infection


Although the immune response of various immune cells to SARS-CoV-2 infection has been relatively well studied, the response of basophils, a class of white blood cells, had not yet been characterized, mainly because of their low representation in the body (about 0.5% of white blood cells). In a recent publication in Frontiers in Immunology, the team of Jagadeesh Bayry at the Cordelier Research Center and his collaborators (1) describe how basophils respond to SARS-CoV-2 infection. They show that exposure to the virus activates basophils, resulting in the production of certain cytokines and helping to reduce inflammation and promote antibody secretion.

Electron microscopy image of a basophil cell showing the granules (dark circles) characteristic of granulocytes (© Inserm/Janine Breton-Gorius)

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(1) Inserm, Sorbonne Université, Université de Paris, CNRS, Institut Pasteur et Efrei