The Role of Molecular Mimicry and Autoimmunity in the SARS-CoV-2-Induced Diseases: An a Posteriori Analysis

SARS-CoV-2-derived epitopes were examined for peptide sharing with human proteins in 2020, during the time of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, in order to determine the likelihood that the coronavirus exposure would cause autoimmune cross-reactivity. It was discovered that the immunoreactive epitopes found in SARS-CoV-2 are generally made up of peptide sequences found in human proteins as well. These sequences, when altered, are linked to a variety of diseases, from respiratory distress to multi-organ failure. It is noteworthy that the peptide sharing also included antigens relevant to fetal/infantile illnesses and tumour suppressor proteins. According to scientific evidence, passive or active SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to autoimmunity due to molecular mimicry and the resulting cross-reactivity. In order to prevent autoimmune reactions, the clinical data suggested vaccine composition based on unique viral peptide sequences. The large wave of severe adverse effects expected in 2020 and already occurring after the widespread administration of the anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine based on conventional vaccine formulations are now, in 2022, explained by the data.

Author(s) Details:

Darja Kanduc,
Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies, and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, Italy.

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Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 epitopes, peptide-sharing, molecular mimicry, cross-reactivity, autoimmunity, vaccines, adverse events

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