Scientists find one of the key factors that determine the success of the coronavirus in infected patients. A deficiency of interferons, proteins that prevent the body from spreading pathogens, causes the body not to react in time to infection.
The delayed response that the human body sometimes gives to coronavirus infection may be the main “trick” that the pathogen uses to spread.
“t looks like this virus has one big trick. That big trick is to avoid the initial innate immune response for a significant period of time and, in particular, avoid an early type-1 interferon response,” explained the American virologist Shane Crotty to the Bloomberg.
Interferons are signalling proteins that the body secretes in response to the presence of pathogens such as coronavirus.
After observing several very serious cases of coronavirus in young patients who end up in the intensive care units of hospitals or even died from complications, the scientists focused their efforts on analyzing the lack of interferon as a possible cause. This hypothesis has been reinforced by two new studies.
As it is apparent from this research, there is a possible solution to the natural lack of interferons: the use of synthetic versions of these proteins. This has been an effective alternative in the fight against different diseases and now coronavirus could be one of them.
The head of the genomic and immunogenomic technologies group at the Nijmegen Radboud University Medical Center, Alexander Hoischen, shared his thoughts on the matter. The specialist believes that the use of interferon will only help fight COVID-19 in the early stages of the disease. In other cases, the course of the infection and the patient’s recovery, he stressed, depends on time.