Covid-19 virus blocks innate immunity to cause infection: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 22, 2021

The study was published in the US-based Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research

A new study has found that Covid-19 blocks the processes of innate immune activation that normally directs the production and/or signaling of Type I interferon (IFN-I) by the infected cell and tissues.

IFN-I is a key component of host innate immunity that is responsible for eliminating the virus at the early stage of infection.

The study, published in the Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research (JICR), revealed that by suppressing innate immunity, the virus replicates and spreads in the body unchecked.

Also read: Covid-19 may awaken antibody response from previous infections: Study

“SARS-CoV-2 utilises various approaches to evade host IFN-I response, including suppression of IFN-I production and IFN-I signaling,” said Hongjie Xia and Pei-Yong Shi, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

He added: “Viruses defective in antagonising IFN-I response, in combination with replication-defective mutations, could potentially be developed as live attenuated vaccine candidates.”

Enhancing antviral immunity

“Targetting innate immunity is highly attractive for therapeutic and vaccine strategies aimed at controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection and protecting against Covid-19. By revealing how the virus blocks innate immune programs we can then build approaches to restore these processes and enhance antiviral immunity,” said Michael Gale Jr, Editor-in-Chief of JICR.

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The authors of the study concluded that routine intravenous immunoglobulin therapy may provide some protective effects to patients with primary immunodeficiency.

Published on January 22, 2021

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