18 November 2020
Vol 12, Issue 570

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Casting Autoantibody NETs in COVID-19. Patients with severe COVID-19 are at high risk for occlusion of blood vessels. This prothrombotic phenotype is reminiscent of patients with antiphospholipid syndrome, who have long-lived circulating antiphospholipid autoantibodies. Zuo et al. detected similar serum antiphospholipid autoantibodies in half of the 172 patients they examined, who were hospitalized with severe COVID-19. These antiphospholipid autoantibodies were associated with neutrophil activation and induced thrombosis when injected into mice. The cover depicts how prothrombotic serum autoantibodies (purple) could activate neutrophils (blue), inducing them to release extracellular DNA webs called NETS (yellow) that trap erythrocytes (red) and platelets (pink) leading to blood vessel occlusion. [CREDIT: ERINA HE/NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH]