Tue. Nov 30th, 2021


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A team of researchers has partially resolved the misterywhy some people they are naturally less resistant to Covid-19 than others.

In his article published in the magazine
«Science»
, the group describes their study of the interferon and the role it plays in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

As the global pandemic unfolded, it became clear that some people have much more severe symptoms from contracting Covid-19 than others.

In fact, some people have been found to have no symptoms, while others get so sick that they die.

This international group of researchers has carried out a comprehensive examination of gene expression stimulated by interferon to isolate possible enzymes involved in alerting the immune system to an infection.

Interferons are signaling proteins that alert the body when invading entities such as bacteria and viruses are detected.

And their investigations led them to the OAS1 enzyme, an enzyme that reacts to interferon signaling by eliciting an immune response when the SARS-CoV-2 virus is detected.

Previous studies have shown that OAS1 adheres to membranes using a group take it as part of the signaling process. And they have also shown that this signaling can inhibit the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

They found that those who did not have preylated OAS1 experienced much more severe symptoms.

Noting its value in protecting people against Covid-19, the researchers looked at the transcriptomes of 500 Covid-19 patients They had experienced a wide range of symptoms and found that those who did not have preylated OAS1 experienced much more severe symptoms.

Why some people are born without the enzyme remains a mystery, but the team’s work could help generate new types of vaccines against COVID-19 and other types of infections.

Intrigued by their findings, the researchers turned their attention to another mammal possibly involved in the pandemic: horseshoe bat.

Upon studying it, they discovered that it did not possess the preylated form of OAS1 that protects humans from the virus, which helps explain why the virus is so deadly to that species.

The finding could also help explain why bats are such prolific hosts for a variety of viruses.

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