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Source: COVID-19 Research  May 27, 2020  6 months ago
BREAKING NEWS! COVID-19 Research: Study Finds That SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Behaves Like HIV To Evade Immune Response
BREAKING NEWS! COVID-19 Research: Study Finds That SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Behaves Like HIV To Evade Immune Response
Source: COVID-19 Research  May 27, 2020  6 months ago
COVID-19 Research: According to a new breakthrough study by Chinese researchers, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus emulates the HIV strategy to remove marker molecules on surface of an infected cell that are used to identify invaders, in a manner to evade attack from the human immune system. This new discovery also has vast potential implications that Sars-CoV-2 may be around for some time according to the research team.


 
The breakthrough research findings which are yet to have been peer-reviewed were posted a few days ago on the preprint server bioRxiv.org and have caused alarm among many medical researchers. The research paper is currently being reviewed by numerous research groups and journals and if the findings are confirmed, the implications could be vast and also could damper a lot of existing research and progress so far. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.24.111823v1.full.pdf+html
 
Leading Chinese virologist Dr Zhang Hui and a team from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou also said their research discovery added weight to clinical observations that the SARS0CoV-2 coronavirus was showing “some characteristics of viruses causing chronic infection”.
 
The new study involved collecting killer T cells from five patients who had recently recovered from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Those immune cells are generated by people after they are infected with Sars-CoV-2 and their main role is to find and destroy the virus.
 
However it was observed that the killer T cells used in the research were not effective at eliminating the virus in infected cells.
 
Upon closer inspection, the researchers discovered a molecule known as major histocompatibility complex, or MHC, was missing.
 
This critical molecule is an identification tag usually present in the membrane of a healthy cell, or in sick cells infected by other coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, or Sars. It changes with infections, alerting the immune system whether a cell is healthy or infected by a virus.
 
The HIV virus uses the same strategy to evade the human immune system by eliminating the MHC molecules.
 
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Dr Zhang added, “In contrast, Sars does not make use of this function to evade the human immune system.”
 
It was observed that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus removes these markers by producing a protein known as ORF8, which binds with MHC molecules, then pulls them inside the infected cell and destroys them, according to the researchers.
 
> The protein ORF8 is known to play an important role in viral replication, and most commercial test kits target this gene to detect viral loads in nose or oral swabs.
 
Although drugs being used to treat Covid-19 patients mainly targeted enzymes or structural proteins needed for viral replication, Dr Zhang and the research team suggested compounds be developed to “specifically target the impairment of MHC by ORF8, and therefore enhancing immune surveillance for Sars-CoV-2 infection”.
 
Previous research showed that the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus had a structure that allowed it to enter many types of human cells and bind with them. The same structure was also found in HIV, but not in other coronaviruses found in animals such as bats and pangolins. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/breaking-latestcoronavirus-research-reveals-that-the-virus-has-mutated-gene-similar-to-hiv-and-is-1,000-times-more-potent-
 
Other studies by researchers in New York and Shanghai also found that Sars-CoV-2 could kill T cells. The discovery came after autopsies in China found immune system destruction similar to that caused by AIDs. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/covid-19-research-study-shows-how-cytokine-storms-actually-depletes-t-cells-in-covid-19-patients
 
Forty years after HIV -a virus that attacks the immune system emerged, it has killed about 32 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization, and there is still no vaccine or drug that can completely cure the disease.
 
Dr Zhang Shuye, principal investigator with the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre at Fudan University, commented that research results of the Guangzhou study were “not entirely a surprise”, and unrelated viruses could take on similar traits as they came under similar selective pressure.
 
Dr Zhang, who was not involved in the research, said that suppression of MHC molecules had also happened in other viruses such as some herpes viruses.
 
He however cautioned that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus was not hijacking T cells and turning them into a means to reproduce, as HIV did, adding that the new virus was mutating at a much slower pace and the death rate was “much, much lower than for Aids”.
 
Dr Zhang said the body’s immune system had various ways to fight back.
 
He added, “What we need to bear in mind through this pandemic is that, though the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus may have some traits that are new or unexpected, the majority of patients recover. This should give us some confidence.”
 
However many medical experts are now questioning as to what will actually happen to these so called ‘recovered patients’ as there is no proof that the new coronavirus is totally eliminated from their bodies and how the residual or dormant viruses that are remaining would react and behave in the short-term to long –term considering all this emerging research data.
 
For more on COVID-19 research, keep logging to Thailand Medical News
 
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