Public Health Resources


Date of this Version



Nature Immunology, VOL 22, APril 2021, 404–411


U.S. government work


In the midst of resurging COVID-19 cases, the second NIH/FDA virtual COVID-19 and Cytokines symposium was held on 1 December 2020, focusing on longitudinal studies of COVID-19 immunity, including long-term consequences, potential associations with autoimmunity and the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C).

A central and ongoing quest in COVID-19 research is to establish why and how SARS-CoV-2 elicits heterogeneity in disease severity and immunopathology among infected individuals. Hence, much effort has been exerted to understand the cellular basis of SARS-CoV-2-induced immune responses, with the aim of identifying new biomarkers and prognostic tools and developing new therapeutic options. Cytokines emerged early as critical parameters in COVID-19 disease progression, and understanding the qualitative, quantitative and temporal differences in cytokine expression is considered critical for the conquest of COVID-19. As the late-2020 fall surge brought the third phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, with record numbers of new cases and deaths, the NIH/FDA Immunology, COVID-19, and Cytokine Interest Groups hosted the second NIH/FDA virtual COVID-19 and Cytokines symposium, bringing together experts in these areas to present the most up-to-date data and to provide a forum for discussion, which focused on recent immunological characterization of the disease and its consequences, including MIS-C.