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This research has not been peer-reviewed, and has been posted on pre-print repository medRxiv. This is a preliminary report that should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behaviour, or be reported in news media as established information.
Severe Covid-19 is associated with elevated plasma Factor V (FV) and increased risk of thromboembolism. We report that neutrophils, T regulatory cells (Tregs), and monocytes from patients with severe Covid-19 express FV, and expression correlates with T cell lymphopenia. In vitro full length FV, but not FV activated by thrombin cleavage, suppresses T cell proliferation. Increased and prolonged FV expression by cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems may contribute to lymphopenia in severe Covid-19. Activation by thrombin destroys the immunosuppressive properties of FV. Anticoagulation in Covid-19 patients may have the unintended consequence of suppressing the adaptive immune system.