Frankfurt researchers find possible cause for milder omicron disease progression


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Researchers find possible cause of mild omicron disease courses © picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild/Patrick Pleul

Frankfurt researchers have identified a possible cause for the milder course of the disease in the omicron variant of the corona virus.

Frankfurt/Main/Canterbury – Frankfurt researchers have identified a possible cause for the milder course of the disease in the omicron variant of the corona virus. Cell experiments have shown that Omikron is particularly sensitive to the so-called interferon response of humans compared to the predecessor variant Delta, the University Hospital in Frankfurt announced on Monday. Interferons are part of the immune system.

The Frankfurt researchers published their results together with a team from the British University of Kent in the journal Cell Research. “Apparently, unlike Delta, Omicron cannot prevent the affected cells from producing and releasing interferon,” said Martin Michaelis of the University of Kent’s School of Bioscience, according to the release.

Cells infected by viruses produce certain interferons. To put it simply, these are messenger substances that, among other things, inform other cells about the intruder. Interferons are important for the non-specific immune response – i.e. a very rapid, albeit less specific, reaction of the immune system against a pathogen. The unspecific immune response must be distinguished from the specific immune response, which takes more time to build up. Among other things, precisely tailored antibodies are formed against the pathogen. (dpa)


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