Infected cells Coronavirus covid infectionThe -19 virus could “explode”, which contributes to the development of serious diseases, researchers have found.

Scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom examined blood samples from people infected with Covid and found that about 6 percent of monocytes – immune cells that patrol the body in search of foreign invaders – undergo a type of cell death known as pyroptosis. associated with inflammation, after virus infection.

A small portion of macrophages – another type of immune cell that absorbs and destroys foreign cell debris – also become inflamed after Sars-CoV-2 infection.

In the case of the two cell types, the virus is thought to have activated what is known as the inflammatory mass: large molecules that cause a cascade of inflammatory reactions that can result in cell death.

Studies have long shown that severe Covid disease is caused by inflammation that leads to damage to the lungs and other organs.

Previous studies have shown that the immune system in people with Covid can effectively turn on the body by secreting proteins that fight infections known as cytokines, which then attack healthy tissue. These “cytokine storms” have been linked to serious diseases.

A new studyconducted by scientists from London’s Royal Hospital in conjunction with Boston Children’s Hospital, now suggests that pyroptosis also plays a role in the escalation of the disease.

“Inflammation and cell death are important factors in severe Covid, and our study shows that pyroptosis is often to blame,” said Dr. Gautham Mehta, a consultant hepatologist at the Royal Free Hospital. Mail on Sunday.

Dr. Mehta said the path of pyroptosis acts as a “signaling system” for the body. “If it senses bacterial or viral particles inside the cell, it causes the cell to‘ explode ’and release pro-inflammatory contents. This helps eliminate the infection, but can eventually lead to severe inflammation. Pyroptosis literally implies a “fiery” way of killing cells. “

Scientists believe that infected immune cells could potentially become a target for drug development, raising hopes that new treatments could be developed to prevent serious disease in a person infected with Covid.

“This is an important finding because our Covid treatment is currently targeting the virus itself,” Dr. Mehta said.

“If we can target a process that causes a serious illness, we can develop an effective treatment that works even in those patients for whom vaccines are not effective.”

A separate study, not yet peer-reviewed, showed how Sars-CoV-2 can penetrate immune cells – a preliminary point for scientists, given that these cells do not carry many of the ACE2 receptors that the virus uses to record.

Scientists from Yale University School of Medicine have found that the virus is able to penetrate human cells through another surface protein known as the Fcγ receptor, using antibodies.

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