MDPI, Pathogens, 10(9), p. 817, 2020
The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is caused by the highly transmissible severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which has affected the global population despite socioeconomic status and amazed surveillance agencies for its incidence, mortality, and recovery rates. COVID-19 affects all age groups; however, it is suggested to progress into severe disease and cause mortality in over 10% of the confirmed cases, depending on the individual characteristics of the affected population. One of the biggest unanswered questions it is why only some individuals develop into the severe stages of the disease. Current data indicate that most of the critically ill are the elderly or those with comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma. However, it has been noted that, in some populations, severe disease is mostly observed in much younger individuals (<60-years old) with no reported underlying medical conditions. Certainly, many factors may contribute to disease severity including intrinsic host factors such as genetic variants, the expression levels of tissue proteins, among others. Considering all these aspects, this review aims to discuss how the expression levels of tissue proteases and the different profiles of immune responses influence the susceptibility to COVID-19 as well as disease severity and outcome.