New Delhi: In a latest research scientists have thrown lights on the factor that may critically contribute to severe forms of Covid-19 by identfying a protein responsible for the virus.
The protein has been identified by the University of Kent’s School of Biosciences and the Institute of Medical Virology at Goethe-University. The study titled ‘A potential role of the CD47-SIRPalpha axis in COVID-19 pathogenesis’ has been published by the scientific journal Current Issues in Molecular Biology.
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What are the findings?
SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. While many individuals develop only mild or no symptoms upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, others develop severe, life-threatening diseases.
The research found that the infection of cells with SARS-CoV-2 caused increased levels of a protein called CD47 on the cell surface. Referred to as “do not eat me”, CD47 sends the signal to the immune system’s defences that prevent cells from being destroyed. Virus-induced CD47 on the surface of infected cells is likely to protect them from immune system recognition, enabling the production of larger amounts of virus, resulting in more severe disease, according to ANI.
According to the research, risk factors known for severe Covid-19 including older age and diabetes are linked to higher CD47 levels. High CD47 levels also contribute to high blood pressure, which is a large risk factor for Covid-19 complications such as heart attack, stroke, and kidney disease.
Infact, the research suggested that age and virus-induced high CD47 levels contribute to severe Covid-19 by preventing an effective immune response and increasing disease-associated tissue and organ damage.
Since treatment targeting CD47 are in development, this discovery may result in improved Covid-19 therapies.
(With inputs from PTI new agency.)
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