A matter of life or death: the immune system responded differently to the coronavirus

The differences in how the immune system of people responds to infection with a coronavirus, can be a matter of life or death. This is the conclusion reached by scientists on the results of a new study.

Вопрос жизни или смерти: иммунные системы по-разному отреагировали на коронавирус

When the human body gets attacked by virus, the immune system produces T cells to fight it. Basically, these cells are of two types: “helpers” who organized the response of protection and “killer”, who receive information on how and where to fight.

These “killer cells” destroy viral cells with toxic chemicals, but to work effectively requires good coordination with the “cell-mates”, says the Hong Kong edition South China Morning Post.

According to the group of researchers from the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in the USA, led by Professor of medicine doctor of nual Meyer, many patients who are seriously ill COVID-19, this teamwork T cells were absent.

According to published Wednesday in the journal Science the study, “three “immunotype” associated with poor clinical trajectory against the improvement of health.”

A team of scientists found some patients have a disproportionately large number of “cell-mates”, while the formation of “killer cells” was also suppressed. This meant that, although the threat posed by the virus, there were many signals were very few “fighters” to effectively counter the virus.

The second immunochip covers those people whose immune system produced a much larger number of “killer cells”, which means that they were better armed, to destroy the invaders, but did not have sufficient number of auxiliary cells to coordinate this struggle. As a result, the study says, such patients suffered greatly from COVID-19, but managed to survive it.

At the other end of the spectrum were those patients who are unable to produce enough T-cells of any type, that is, they lacked “firepower” to destroy invasive cells, and therefore, they were most at risk of dying.

While most sufferers COVID-19 patients observed during the study, received more or less the same treatment, the researchers say that doctors may need to consider a more personalized approach.

“The data, say the study participants, – promote the idea of adaptation of clinical treatment or future clinical trials on immune-based for patients whose immunochip suggests a greater potential benefit.”

As noted by the South China Morning Post, who asked to keep his anonymity a doctor at one of Beijing hospitals, which treats patients with coronavirus, argues that such a system already exists.

According to the physician, although the causes various immune response remain unclear, since the first days of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, working at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, doctors observed a huge difference in how people respond to therapies.

Thus, according to a Chinese doctor, the same treatment that can work wonders for one person, may kill another.


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