German study finds reason for difficult courses

The Berlin Charité and the German Rheumatism Research Center Berlin have published their joint study in the journal Nature. Your findings could prove to be a milestone in coronavirus research.

A messenger substance makes the difference

According to the study, the messenger substance TGFβ is decisive. This messenger substance is normally released by the human body at the end of an illness in order to shut down the immune system again after the alarm condition.

With Covid-19, the body of some patients is wrong: but obviously inside. It releases the messenger substance at the beginning of the infection. The result: the immune system does not start up and the “early control of the pathogen” does not work, as the Charité explains.

Unusual phenomenon

The researchers are quite surprised by their findings. Because the phenomenon is unusual. Co-author Mario Witkowski explains to the Berlin newspaper:

We couldn’t see that with other pneumonia and we were very surprised.

Basically, the immune system would react as usual. As usual, the corresponding defense would be “activated early, but then blocked again immediately by TGFβ,” explains Mir-Farzin Mashreghi, who was involved in the study.

Only some patents: affected inside

Andreas Diefenbach from the Berlin Charité specifies that not all patients are affected:

In some patients, however, the immune system reacts so strongly to the pathogen that the body counter-regulates and forms the dampening messenger substance TGFβ.

In people in whom the body does not overreact in such a way, however, the behavior of the immune system seems normal and quite sufficient. The result is a mild Covid course.

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What does this mean for the treatment of Covid-19?

The findings could be fundamental to the treatment of Covid-19. Because if a drug were to prevent or dampen the release of the problematic messenger substance, severe courses could possibly be avoided.

Corresponding drugs are already available, explain the researchers in their study, such as substances from cancer therapy. The discovery could very soon have concrete effects on the treatment of Covid patients.

Lately there have been increasing numbers of positive reports about possible Covid treatments. At the beginning of the month, AstraZeneca applied for rapid approval of its active ingredient. And even a tried and tested and inexpensive antidepressant should be able to alleviate severe processes.



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