Divergent COVID-19 Disease Trajectories Predicted by a DAMP-Centered Immune Network Model

Judy D. Day, Soojin Park, Benjamin L. Ranard, Harinder Singh, Carson C. Chow, Yoram Vodovotz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


COVID-19 presentations range from mild to moderate through severe disease but also manifest with persistent illness or viral recrudescence. We hypothesized that the spectrum of COVID-19 disease manifestations was a consequence of SARS-CoV-2-mediated delay in the pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) response, including dampened type I interferon signaling, thereby shifting the balance of the immune response to be dominated by damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) signaling. To test the hypothesis, we constructed a parsimonious mechanistic mathematical model. After calibration of the model for initial viral load and then by varying a few key parameters, we show that the core model generates four distinct viral load, immune response and associated disease trajectories termed “patient archetypes”, whose temporal dynamics are reflected in clinical data from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The model also accounts for responses to corticosteroid therapy and predicts that vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies and cellular memory will be protective, including from severe COVID-19 disease. This generalizable modeling framework could be used to analyze protective and pathogenic immune responses to diverse viral infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number754127
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • DAMP
  • SARS-CoV2
  • danger signal
  • immune response
  • inflammation
  • mathematical model


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