Coronavirus

The Search for Immune Responses that Stop COVID-19

By August 6, 2020 No Comments

“Researchers found that some patients had very unbalanced immune cell activity and that this imbalance could manifest in multiple ways. For instance, some produced lots of CD4+ T cells—helper cells that assist other parts of the immune system to block or destroy the virus—but very few CD8+ T “killer” cells, which destroy infected cells in the body. Meanwhile, some patients generated lots of B cells, which churn out antibodies, but not in concert with the two main types of T cell. Getting these cells to work together is important, because it helps fight infection on several fronts at once. Some T cells, for instance, help B cells to produce antibodies—it’s a joint effort. In some patients studied by the group, there was a worrying lack of T and B cells in general.

Severely ill patients, notably, experienced “the spectrum” of responses,—from hardly any T and B cell activation to excessive amounts. It’s still not clear what drives severe illness in many patients. Scientists also don’t yet know precisely what kind of T and B cell response occurs in patients who have mild or no symptoms”

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