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Genes that protect against coronavirus could help create new drugs

Europe Press and Afp

Newspaper La Jornada
Monday, May 9, 2022, p. eleven

Madrid. A study, carried out by a team of researchers from the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories of the universities of Boston and Princeton on the covid-19 virus in the lungs, points out that there are 11 genes that protect against infection, which would resolve by why some people get sicker than others from coronavirus and could help many avoid the worst symptoms.

According to the evidence, many deaths from covid-19 are caused by a hyperimmune response: macrophages, a type of white blood cell that attacks not only the virus, but also our bodies, causing excessive inflammation and damaging heart and lung tissue. .

The study, published in the journal Cell Reports, looked at why that was and also looked at the impact of the virus on both those who get severely ill and those who don’t. Studying the lungs, which appear to either easily deflect SARS-CoV-2 or recover quickly from infection, they found a set of genes that determine whether immune cells mount a robust defense.

The findings could help efforts to develop new drugs that better prepare immune systems to fight the virus.

According to Devin Kenney, a doctoral student in Douam’s lab and the paper’s lead author, one feature of the lungs that was most severely affected by Covid-19 was a lack of macrophage diversity. They were dominated by a proinflammatory macrophage, the cells that generally respond to viruses and bacteria, called M1.

They appear to drive this hyperinflammatory response and lead to a more severe disease state.Kenny explains. In contrast, immune systems that mixed in more cells that normally aid in wound repair (M2, or regulatory macrophages) fared better.

The researchers linked this positive antiviral response to a set of 11 genes they called genes that define protection. In cases of effective resistance, they worked more, which is known as positive regulation.

Meanwhile, millions of Beijingers queued up for a new round of COVID tests, which has become a daily routine as the Chinese capital scrambles to contain a small but persistent outbreak, as well as avoid a prolonged shutdown like the one in Shanghai.

The pandemic has left 517 million 274 thousand 588 confirmed cases and 6 million 251 thousand 188 deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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