Clinical observations of scientists on patients with COVID-19 showed that most of them have an abnormal depletion of immune T cells, namely lymphocytes, which play a crucial role in the immune response. In addition, the number of T cells is associated with the severity of coronavirus infection, writes EurekAlert.
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COVID-19 depletes immune cells
Scientists have found in patients with COVID-19 an increased concentration of cytokines, which usually help fight infection. The so-called "cytokine storm", when a very large number of molecules are released in the body, can lead to uncontrolled inflammation in the body.
New observations have shown that SARS-CoV-2 does not attack T cells directly, but most likely triggers the release of cytokines, which then lead to the depletion of immune cells.
Scientists examined the progress of coronavirus disease in 522 patients and 40 healthy volunteers. Patients treated with COVID-19 in the intensive care unit showed significantly less lymphocytes compared with patients with a mild form of COVID-19.
It is important that the T cells that remained in the patient’s body after infection could not fully function. That is, this not only affected the results of treatment, but also made patients vulnerable to reinfection.
“We must pay more attention to the number of T cells and their functions, and not just the patient’s respiratory system,” said study author Yongwen Chen.
According to the authors of the study, we need to focus on finding drugs that could restore the number and functionality of T cells.
The course of the disease COVID-19 / Infographics 24 Channels
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