In the midst of the outbreak of COVID-19 over the past 3 years, there have been many cases of infection that have puzzled doctors and scientists. Because even if some people are infected with COVID-19 but not sick at all while some people are very sick So they are trying to find that answer What is the difference between the these two types of infection?
Recently, a team of researchers from Australia has found the answer. that some people are addicted to COVID-19 but not sick at all This is because they have a “protein” type of island in the lungs. has the ability to contract the COVID-19 virus and render him incompetent
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The work was led by Greg Neely, a functional genomics expert at the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney, in collaboration with researcher Dr Lipin Loo and Matthew Waller.
They used cultured human cell membranes to study the entire human genome. To find proteins that can bind to the COVID-19 virus, they use a genetic engineering tool called Crispr that activates all the genes in the human genome.
The research team then looked at What gene gives human cells the ability to bind the spike proteins of COVID-19? until they found a new receptor protein called “LRRC15”
“Then we studied the lungs of patients who died of COVID-19 or other diseases, Neely said. with severe symptoms had a large amount of LRRC15 in their lungs.”
The research team found that LRRC15 is absent in the human body. until COVID-19 it will enter the body It appears to be part of the immune defense that protects humans from severe COVID-19 infections by triggering the body’s antiviral response.
Although LRRC15 was found in the lungs of patients who died of COVID-19 But researchers believe that the patient’s body does not produce enough of this protein to prevent it. or produced too late
“When we look at the lungs of patients who have died of COVID-19, there will be a lot of this protein … but we cannot look at the lungs of patients who survived COVID-19 because lung biopsies are not easy to do in living people . But we initially speculated that this protein was present in COVID-19 survivors. more than those who died,” said Neely.
He cited a separate UK study that examined blood samples from COVID-19 patients for LRRC15 and found that people with severe COVID-19 had lower levels of the protein in their blood than those with COVID-19. with mild symptoms
“These data suggest that higher LRRC15 levels will result in people infected with COVID-19. There are less severe symptoms,” Neely said.
He added, “The fact that there is this unknown natural immune protein that sticks to our lungs. Virus prevention and control It’s very interesting.”
The team also found LRRC15 in fibroblasts, the cells that control lung fibrosis. It is a disease that causes lung tissue damage and scarring. COVID-19 can lead to pulmonary fibrosis. Therefore, these findings may have implications for COVID-19. in the long term too
“Now we can use this new protein to design drugs that act against the infection of the COVID-19 virus. or even prevent pulmonary fibrosis,” Neely said.
Dr Lipin Lu, one of the researchers, said, “LRRC15 acts like a ‘Gecko molecule’, it will stick to the spikes of the COVID-19 virus. and take it out of the target cell.”
Professor Stuart Turville, a virologist from the Kirby Institute said that although the findings could take years to translate into drugs that can prevent viruses and other diseases, the research adds to our understanding of innate immunity. This is a human response that can act as soon as the virus appears in the body.
“Understanding these pathways is important as it allows us to stop the virus. So other parts of our immune system can catch up and respond,” Terville said.
He added, “This could be one of many factors that could increase people’s ability to protect against viruses at an early stage.”
Read the full research
Compiled from The Guardian
Image from AFP