A study with the participation of researchers from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) has described the inflammatory process caused by SARS-CoV-2 in severe cases of covid-19. The work was developed in partnership with Harvard University School of Medicine and published yesterday (6) in the journal Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals.
The contribution of the study was to explain what triggers the excessive inflammatory process that occurs in severe forms of the disease and how it develops.
Researchers have observed that when trying to fight infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the immune system produces a specific type of antibody, called afucosylated.
The action of this antibody manages to neutralize the virus and prevent it from entering the lung epithelial cells, but it also triggers a process that leads to the uncontrolled production of defense cells.
The chain of events that leads to excessive inflammation begins when monocytes, which are the body’s defense cells, capture the virus and destroy it in a digestive process called phagocytosis.
This mechanism ends with the destruction of the monocyte itself, which releases components that cause a state of alert in the body. The body then boosts the production of defense cells, which leads to an increase in inflammation, because the more cells produced, the greater the alert they give.
It is this process that leads to the so-called cytokine storm, which are proteins that regulate the immune response. Lack of control of this response with excessive inflammation creates a situation in which the defense cells themselves cause damage to the patient’s body, which progresses to a critical state of health.
Researcher Caroline Junqueira, from the Immunopathology group of Fiocruz Minas, explains that the study shows the importance of immunity acquired by vaccines, which lead to the production of a different type of antibody.
“Many people think that it is good to catch Covid-19 to become immunized. The fact is that, in this case, the person will run the risk of having systemic inflammation. With the vaccine, this possibility does not “Does not exist. Our research has shown that the plasma of a vaccinated individual does not induce the production of the fucosylated antibody. In other words, the infection generates harmful antibodies, and the vaccine produces beneficial antibodies.” , underlines the coordinator of the study, in a text published by Fiocruz.
Accordingly, the research also highlights that there are potential drug candidates that can inhibit this chain of events.
Source: Brazil Agency