As a follow up to last week’s post on auto-antibodies against interferons contributing to a more severe case of COVID 19, we glance at other factors leading to more severe disease. Researchers published findings in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicating that some individuals have lower activity of specific T cells in their bodies which lead to more severe disease. When these cells are less able to produce adequate interferon gamma (see this week’s main post for explanation of interferons), the virus can get the upper hand and win. These T cells tend to weaken as we age and could explain some of the increased risk of the elderly with COVID 19.
This knowledge will hopefully lead to a means of discerning who is at higher risk and applying targeted therapies at these individuals. Responding to the viral diseases of 2020 and beyond requires this wisdom and skill.
Arne Sattler, Stefan Angermair, Helena Stockmann, Katrin Moira Heim, Dmytro Khadzhynov, Sascha Treskatsch, Fabian Halleck, Martin E. Kreis, Katja Kotsch. SARS-CoV-2 specific T-cell responses and correlations with COVID-19 patient predisposition. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2020; DOI: 10.1172/JCI140965
Thanks to Science Daily:
Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. “COVID-19 high-risk groups: Why the immune system is less effective at fighting the virus.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200908113259.htm>.