Skip to content

They discover a new mechanism that blocks the coronavirus: an immune molecule

Researchers from the Humanitas Research Hospital and the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital found a new mechanism of immune response against the COVID-19 that could give a turn in Sars-CoV-2 infections.

The scientists found that the innate immunitywhich acts in the body against common pathogens and viruses, is a resistance mechanism against COVID-19 and its variants, including those of special interest: Delta and Omicron.

The study, published in the journal Nature Immunology, It was carried out by researchers Matteo Stravalaci, Alberto Mantovani and Cecilia Garlanda, from the Humanitas Research Hospital, and Isabel Pagani and Elisa Vincenzi, from the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital.

What did you find? We tell you.

natural immune response

With the arrival of the pandemic COVID-19 In 2020 and the subsequent emergence of variants of concern, scientists have been investigating the role of the body’s first line of defense against COVID-19, especially those of so-called ‘antibody ancestors’.

Thus, they investigated the role played by innate immunity in the reaction against COVID-19.

According to the researchers, “Innate immunity is our body’s first line of defense. ”.

Innate immunity, according to Humanitas Research Hospital, “It precedes and accompanies adaptive immunity, the most specific line of defense, of antibodies and T cells, which can be enhanced by vaccines.”

The researchers found that one of the innate immunity molecules, whose name is Mannose Binding Lectin (MBL for its acronym in English), binds to the spike protein of Sars-CoV-2, the protein that allows the virus to adhere to cells and that gives it the ability to infect.

By binding to the protein that allows the spread of the virus, the natural immunity molecule manages to block it.

“Years ago, we identified some genes that are part of a family of antibody ancestors. Focusing on the interaction between these and Sars-CoV-2, we discovered that one of these innate immunity molecules, called Mannose Binding Lectin (MBL), binds to the spike protein of the virus and blocks it”, explained professor and researcher Alberto Mantovani.

It was discovered that, in addition to functioning as a kind of natural antibodythe MBL could identify the variants of COVID-19, including Delta and Omicron, to act against them.

Can it become an alternative against the virus?

The researchers are trying to test whether the MBL molecule It can serve as a preventive or as a therapy against the virus, taking into account that it would act as one more antibody.

“Whether MBL can be a candidate preventive/therapeutic agent is being evaluated, since it is a molecule functionally similar to an antibody, from which virus variants, at least known ones, cannot escape,” Humanitas Research Hospital said. , center that was part of the investigation.

According to Eliza Vicenzi, from the team of scientists behind the study, the MBL molecule demonstrates a great antiviral activity which could be an additional weapon against currently circulating variants of SARS-CoV-2.

In addition to demonstrating its role in natural immunity, the researchers are also looking for data on the relationship and interaction that could occur between this natural defense molecule and the immune response that is generated with the vaccines that are applied in the world against COVID-19.

Weather, Colombida/GDA

Source: Elcomercio

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular