Key Driver Of COVID-19 Severity Identified: Lung Damage Linked To Loss Of Macrophages
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Since the COVID-19 virus, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, (SARS-CoV-2), first began spreading worldwide, it has been almost three years. The number of COVID-19-related deaths has decreased significantly since the introduction of new vaccines and therapeutic strategies. However, the virus continues its mutation, which leads to more variants and subvariants that are more contagious and can cause severe disease. A Mount Sinai Hospital research team has identified the root cause of COVID-19 and proposed a new treatment strategy to treat viral lung diseases.
Researchers from Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine said that COVID-19 severity was mainly due to immune cell dysregulation. They believe that lung damage is caused by the loss of macrophages, immune cells that are found in the lungs and organize tissue repair. This then leads to inflammation.
They believed that blocking the entry of inflammatory cell-producing cells and preventing their loss may be the best way to treat COVID-19.
After analyzing blood and lung fluid samples from COVID-19 victims collected in New York City during the height of the pandemic, they came to this conclusion. Their findings were published in Science Translational Medicine’s September 14th edition.
Why are older people more susceptible to COVID-19 severeness?
According to the researchers, older adults may have fewer macrophages than younger ones and produce more inflammatory blood-derived macrophages. This supposedly makes them more vulnerable to COVID-19 severity.
This study highlighted the importance of improving the measurement of patients’ immune systems. They believe this could identify the disease drivers of patients and help them tailor their treatment strategies.
Some COVID-19 patients may be significantly helped by the restoration of reparative macrophages in their lungs.
They spoke about the methods they used to determine the disease severity drivers and mentioned serum proteomics as well as immune cell phenotyping.
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