Doctors map body's COVID-19 immune response: study

Paris (AFP) - Researchers in Australia said Tuesday they had mapped the body’s immune response to the novel coronavirus, in a potential breakthrough in the fight against the global killer.

A team of scientists were able to test blood samples from a patient who had contracted COVID-19 and was hospitalised with moderate symptoms.

Authors of the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, said it was the first time experts had mapped the body’s general immune response to the new disease.

“We saw a really robust immune response that preceded clinical recovery,” Katherine Kedzierska, from the University of Melbourne’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, told AFP.

“We noted an immune response but she was visually still unwell, and three days later the patient recovered.”

Researchers are in a race against time to try to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which as of 0900 GMT Tuesday has registered more than 180,000 confirmed infections and over 7,000 deaths.

Keszierska said her team’s research was "an important step in understanding recovery from COVID-19.

“We have verifiable results in more patients with moderate disease. Now we can ask the question: what is different or missing in people who are fatally ill?”

She said the findings had two practical applications.

First, it will help virologists develop a vaccine because the goal in vaccination is to replicate the body’s natural immune response to viruses.

The team identified four distinct immune-cell populations in the COVID-19 patient’s blood as she underwent recovery.

Kedzierska said these were “very similar to what we see in patients with influenza”.

Although it kills hundreds of thousands of people annually, a broadly effective vaccine exists against influenza.

  • Immunity ‘markers’ -

The second practical application is screening, said Kedzierska.

Their observations could also help health authorities make better predictions in future disease outbreaks about who is most at risk.

These immune system “markers” could in theory predict with greater accuracy which patients are likely to have mild symptoms and which are at risk of dying.

The majority of COVID-19 deaths occur in patients who are elderly or have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Children, on the other hand, appear to show few or no symptoms. Kedzierska said more research was needed to work out why, but the immune system does naturally slow down as people age.

Sharon Lewin, director of the Doherty Institute and one of the world’s leading infectious diseases experts, told AFP that the study results were promising.

“It shows that the body makes a very good and powerful immune response to virus and it is associated with symptom clearing,” she said.

“Hopefully now we can fish out those antibodies and grow them up to scale,” she said.

It seems outside of PFS, this will continue to dominate many people’s daily lives.
“PFS” is a virus. Im kidding. I think.
I will say though, Ive talked to alot of smart Drs over the years across various fields of medicine, and this thought has been put out there a few times.

New Study Suggests Digestive Issues Can Be First Sign of COVID-19

A new study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology reports that some people who get the coronavirus will experience digestive symptoms like diarrhea as a first sign of the virus.

COVID-19 is a new-to-humans coronavirus that primarily attacks the lungs and respiratory system. Its primary symptoms include fever, cough, shortness or breath and, if the infection worsens, chest pain, pneumonia and difficulty breathing. As medicals experts around the world race to learn new information, however, the list of the symptoms expands.

The new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology looked at data from 204 patients with COVID-19 in China’s Hubei province. Researchers found that 48.5% of these patients arrived at the hospital with digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain. The study suggested digestive symptoms may present before the respiratory symptoms of COVID-19. Those with digestive symptoms included in this study also had a more severe course of illness.

Related:What Is the Mortality Rate of COVID-19?

This study’s findings add additional evidence to mounting suspicion that COVID-19 causes gastrointestinal symptoms for some people. A case report published in the New England Journal of Medicine on the first known COVID-19 patient in the United States, for example, noted the patient experienced loose stool and abdominal discomfort during their second day of hospitalization. Other research has found evidence the virus is shed in fecal matter, similar to other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS.

While more research is needed to understand the role and impact of digestive symptoms in those who get COVID-19, Brennan M.R. Spiegel, M.D., co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, said in a press release that an awareness of digestive symptoms can aid efforts to detect COVID-19 earlier:

In this study, COVID-19 patients with digestive symptoms have a worse clinical outcome and higher risk of mortality compared to those without digestive symptoms, emphasizing the importance of including symptoms like diarrhea to suspect COVID-19 early in the disease course before respiratory symptoms develop. This may lead to earlier diagnosis of COVID-19, which can lead to earlier treatment and more expeditious quarantine to minimize transmission from people who otherwise remain undiagnosed.

1 Like

Digestive issues, a result, rather than the cause of PSSD, PAS, and PFS, IMO.

The strong immune response to COVID mentioned is noteworthy considering a cytokine storm is an effect of great concern among young people. This might be a lazy explanation, but it’s like the body launching strategic nukes to rid itself of a pathogen with a “Scorched Earth” policy.

Here the cause is the virus, another could be a drug, another could be salmon, zinc, b12, take your pick.
The point here with the virus is not the digestive issues but how the body deals with it. In this case its a foreign invader that can cause great consequence or even death that the body rapidly tries to clear.
Similar principles could be involved as to how the body deals with a drug, not only drugs but you have natural substances in nature that can almost mimic some of their effects. Its How the body mounts a response, and what follows after that.

I would add to this real quick, Id maybe be careful thinking there is some heightened immunity in PFS.
I could see this going in either direction.
Some say acne itself can be part of an overactive immune response, which was permanently suppressed post Accutane.
Some people are saying they feel better when they’re sick, when most people would feel worse.
The ability to generate a fever can be a body’s defense mechanism.
Heat shock proteins, innate immunity.
Its hard to say how this would play out.

Besides the article itself and all of whats going on not sounding too far off from Contagion, this jumped out at me,

The Novel Coronavirus Originated In Bats, And That’s Actually Pretty Common

However, researchers have found that when bats contract these viruses, their particularly strong immune systems prevent them from getting sick or dying from the infections. This means they can continue to carry and pass on the virus, whereas other animals that contract it may get sick and die, and therefore are less likely to pass it on. The UC Berkeley researchers found that a bat’s immune system is so strong, in fact, that when a virus infects a bat, the animal’s immune system response is thought to cause the virus to adapt and replicate even faster. That means when the virus infects an animal with a weaker immune system (let’s say a human), the virus is able to wreak havoc.

One of the reasons bats have such strong immune systems is thought to be the fact that they can fly, according to the UC Berkeley study. When they fly, bats elevate their metabolic rates to a level that would hurt other mammals, but for bats, helped them develop an immune system that is able to quickly repair the cell damage caused by flight, the researchers found.