One of the antibodies that appears in the plasma of people who have undergone heavy COVID-19 does not suppress the virus, but causes severe inflammation. This conclusion was reached by Dutch scientists under the supervision of Professor Menno de Winter of the University of Amsterdam. The results of their research have been published on the bioRxiv portal.
According to biologists, these antibodies can join the coronavirus spiky protein and in interactions with macrophage cells “cause a very powerful inflammatory response.
“This explains why, at the time when the adaptive immunity ‘turns on’, the health of many patients dramatically deteriorates,” the researchers write.
As subsequent experiments have shown, disruptions in the work of macrophages, which cause these antibodies, not only accelerated the development of inflammation, but also contributed to the formation of blood clots, and disrupted the work of the walls of blood vessels. Both these problems, together with inflammatory reactions, are now considered to be one of the main causes of complications in COVID-19.
The researchers report that suppressed all these reactions with the substance R406 – one of the components of photostaminib, a drug for immunogenic thrombocytopenia. This compound blocks the work of enzymes of immune cells, which are responsible for the production of pro-inflammatory signal molecules in macrophages.
Earlier, on July 15, a microbiologist, honorary professor and former director of the Institute of Immunology at the University of Bern, Beda Stadler, expressed the view that there are no asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. He believes that the error occurred because coronavirus tests are not able to determine whether the virus is still alive or has already been suppressed by the immune system, and may eventually take for active disease “tiny destroyed parts of the virus”.