Approximately 15%-20% of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) progress beyond mild and self-limited disease to require supplemental oxygen for severe pneumonia; 5% of COVID-19-infected patients further develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiorgan failure. Despite mortality rates surpassing 40%, key insights into COVID-19-induced ARDS pathology have not been fully elucidated and multiple unmet needs remain. This review focuses on the unmet need for effective therapies that target unchecked innate immunity-driven inflammation which drives unchecked vascular permeability, multiorgan dysfunction and ARDS mortality. Additional unmet needs including the lack of insights into factors predicting pathogenic hyperinflammatory viral host responses, limited approaches to address the vast disease heterogeneity in ARDS, and the absence of clinically-useful ARDS biomarkers. We review unmet needs persisting in COVID-19-induced ARDS in the context of the potential role for damage-associated molecular pattern proteins in lung and systemic hyperinflammatory host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection that ultimately drive multiorgan dysfunction and ARDS mortality. Insights into promising stratification-enhancing, biomarker-based strategies in COVID-19 and non-COVID ARDS may enable the design of successful clinical trials of promising therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-48
Number of pages12
JournalTranslational Research
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry, medical


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