NQO2 is differentially expressed in the blood of patients with coronavirus co-infections.

The human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (1) has resulted in the death of over 180,000 Americans in less than one year (2). Infection of a person already suffering from a viral infection, a phenomena known as co-infection (3) can potentially pose a problem during the upcoming influenza seasons. We mined published microarray data (4) to identify genes most differentially expressed in the whole blood of patients suffering from human coronavirus co-infections. We found that the gene encoding NQO2 was among those whose expression changed most significantly transcriptome-wide when comparing the blood of patients suffering from three different types of co-infections: human coronavirus NL63 and rhinovirus, human coronavirus HKU1 and rhinovirus, as well as in human coronavirus 229E and influenza A co-infection. NQO2 is reported to have functions in the B-lymphocyte response (5) and may be relevant to the process of viral co-infection involving the human coronavirus family.
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