Interferons, a class of proteins that drive the body's antiviral response, are a critical component of the innate immune system. SARS-CoV-2 attempts to evade the immune system by suppressing the interferon response. Dr. Roger Seheult shares the findings of two recent studies in which researchers identified a connection between an impaired interferon response and severe COVID-19 disease. The first study examined deleterious variants of interferon genes, while the second investigated interferon neutralizing autoantibodies. Taken together these studies suggest that a poor interferon response is associated with a more severe COVID-19 outcome. In this clip, Dr. Roger Seheult addresses the importance of the interferon response in the body's defense against viruses.
Dr. Seheult: There's a couple of papers that were published in Science about a month or two ago. They could explain 14% of all of the severe cases in their cohort, based on two findings. One was a bunch of genetic mutations that basically left the subjects hamstrung in terms of secreting and producing interferon.
All of those mutations were found only in the severe COVID-19 patients. Okay? Did not find any of these in the mild patience. The other one that made up about 10% was older patients that had developed antibodies to interferon. So essentially, their interferon levels, even though they're being produced, they were being inactivated. All of these patients that had antibodies against SARS, or against interferon were in the severe, non in the mild to moderate group.
So what they determined was, and other studies have borne this out, that in order to predict a mild to moderate course of the disease, you have to have an adequate interferon response early on in the course. And you wanted to have that to lead to a mild to moderate. If you did not have a good interferon response early on, that would lead to severe disease in almost all of those cases. So there was a number of studies, actually, that have been produced, some at the University of Toronto, some also in other centers as well, that showed that if you take human beings and heat them up in a hot water bath, 39 degrees centigrade, the purpose of this is not to kill the virus, the purpose of this is to enhance the immunity. And what they found was that they were able to, independently of these potential mutations that fever or temperature itself was able to cause a secretion in elevation in interferon, tumor necrosis factor, those sorts of things.
There's one study that they did, where they took subjects, put them in hot water baths at various degrees, so 38.5, 39, 39.5, etc. And when they took the monocytes out of their body and put them on the petri dish and exposed it at various temperatures to LPs, which is lipopolysaccharide, which is a universal activator of the immune system, that interferon levels were 10 times higher once they got up to about 39 degrees centigrade, or celsius, which is around where you start to have a fever. So lots of plausibility there.
An infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19, or coronavirus disease 2019, was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The disease manifests primarily as a lower respiratory illness, but it can affect multiple organ systems, including the cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, and renal systems. Symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell and taste. Some infected persons, especially children, are asymptomatic. Severe complications of COVID-19 include pneumonia, sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, kidney failure, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, and cytokine storm. Treatments currently involve symptom management and supportive care. Mortality varies by country and region, but approximately 6 percent of people living in the United States who are diagnosed with COVID-19 expire. 1
An essential mineral present in many foods. Iron participates in many physiological functions and is a critical component of hemoglobin. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart arrhythmias.
An enzyme that participates in genetic pathways that sense amino acid concentrations and regulate cell growth, cell proliferation, cell motility, cell survival, protein synthesis, autophagy, and transcription. mTOR integrates other pathways including insulin, growth factors (such as IGF-1), and amino acids. It plays key roles in mammalian metabolism and physiology, with important roles in the function of tissues including liver, muscle, white and brown adipose tissue, and the brain. It is dysregulated in many human diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, depression, and certain cancers. mTOR has two subunits, mTORC1 and mTORC2. Also referred to as “mammalian” target of rapamycin.
Rapamycin, the drug for which this pathway is named (and the anti-aging properties of which are the subject of many studies), was discovered in the 1970s and is used as an immunosuppressant in organ donor recipients.
A chemical that causes Parkinson's disease-like symptoms. MPTP undergoes enzymatic modification in the brain to form MPP+, a neurotoxic compound that interrupts the electron transport system of dopaminergic neurons. MPTP is chemically related to rotenone and paraquat, pesticides that can produce parkinsonian features in animals.
The virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS. First identified in China in 2002, SARS-CoV-2 is a type of coronavirus. It was responsible for an epidemic that killed nearly 800 people worldwide.
The highest level of intake of a given nutrient likely to pose no adverse health effects for nearly all healthy people. As intake increases above the upper intake level, the risk of adverse effects increases.
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