Nature Communications ( 2021)
Acquired somatic mutations in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (clonal hematopoiesis or CH) are associated with advanced age, increased risk of cardiovascular and malignant diseases, and decreased overall survival. These adverse sequelae may be mediated by altered inflammatory profiles observed in patients with CH. A pro-inflammatory immunologic profile is also associated with worse outcomes of certain infections, including SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease Covid-19. Whether CH predisposes to severe Covid-19 or other infections is unknown. Among 525 individuals with Covid-19 from Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) and the Korean Clonal Hematopoiesis (KoCH) consortia, we show that CH is associated with severe Covid-19 outcomes (OR = 1.85, 95%=1.15–2.99, p = 0.01), in particular CH characterized by non-cancer driver mutations (OR = 2.01, 95% CI = 1.15–3.50, p = 0.01). We further explore the relationship between CH and risk of other infections in 14,211 solid tumor patients at MSK. CH is significantly associated with risk of Clostridium Difficile (HR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.22–3.30, p = 6×10−3) and Streptococcus/Enterococcus infections (HR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.15–2.13, p = 5×10−3). These findings suggest a relationship between CH and risk of severe infections that warrants further investigation.