Andrey Kruglov, a researcher at the Immunology Department of Moscow State University, has developed a new method for detecting the antigenic response to viral proteins and used it with his German colleagues to study the cause of the severe course of the disease that occurs when a new coronavirus infection is infected. The study suggests a new way to treat the severe form of COVID-19. The results of the work are published in Nature Communications.
A cytokine storm has been extensively discussed in the literature as a major cause of the severe course of the disease that occurs in patients with coronavirus infection. This is a situation in which too many pro-inflammatory cytokines, peptide molecules that alert the human body to danger, are produced. Proinflammatory cytokines act as stimulators of immune responses to eliminate infectious pathogens, leading to excessive activation of inflammation and immunopathology. The use of blockers of such excessive inflammation helps only some people with severe COVID-19.
Andrey Kruglov, a leading researcher of the Immunology Department of the Biology Department of Moscow State University, developed a new method of detecting the antigenic response to viral proteins at the beginning of the pandemic and with his help, together with his German colleagues, studied the cause of the severe course of the disease that occurs when a new coronavirus infection occurs. It turned out that in severe patients COVID-19 there is a switch of antigenic response, and in the later stages of the disease begins to produce immunoglobulin A (IgA2), which is not specific to the virus. This is due to the fact that a large release of the suppressor molecule, the cytokine, TGF-b1, occurs in the severe course of the disease.
“The significance of this work is that the severe course of COVID-19 is not due to a cytokine storm, but to the induction of a more complex pattern of cytokines, including those with immunosuppressive activity, which suppress the body’s specific defense against the virus. Thus, our study offers a new way to treat the severe form of COVID-19 by blocking TGFb1,” Andrey Kruglov concluded.