COVID-19, New Founds and Therapeutic Strategies

Current Situation

What the current situation is?

The virus is there, it did not disappear, but our immunity has changed eventually, or many of us were infected and did not even know, or the virus has mutated in a less lethal form, Dr. Michael Murray thinks that we have reached the herd immunity, which means that we have obtained a partial immunity.

However, the cases are continuing, certainly in a moderate number compared to few weeks ago, but it depends from State to State in regard of the United States while in Europe and other country it seems they are increasing again.

The point is, if the infection is still so lethal as it was, and especially for those immunological compromised, or with chronic and inflammatory diseases, and if the therapeutic approaches have improved thanks to the wide-spread research and clinical trials.

In a webinar hosted around a month ago, Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., was mentioning that we are close to an end and that the virulence of the virus has lowered, the virus has mutated and has become more infectious, and this is why probably the surge of new cases and mainly in the areas not hit from the begin, but less lethal. The CDC also seems to agree with the fact that the infectivity of the virus has increased while the lethality decreased.

Dr. Murray was already talking about herd immunity in a previous article and what has been emerging from this is that the reason why many antibodies tests also from people that were affected by COVID are negative for antibodies to the virus it is because the immunity to this virus is not due to the antibodies produced by B-lymphocytes, IgM or IgG, but to the T-memory-cells produced by T-lymphocytes.

From the article:

“Herd Immunity has occurred in selected areas where ~ 20% of population tests positive for antibodies, while 40-60% of population may have partial or complete T-cell immunity.

It looks like that SARS-CoV-2 reactive CD4+ T-cells have been found in 40-60% of unexposed individuals suggesting cross-reactive T-cell recognition between circulating common cold, coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.”

I was personally wondering about cross- reactivity among SARS-CoV-2 and the other coronaviruses from the begin trying to explain to myself why with a pandemic like this and so infectious diseases many of us did not get sick.

Continuing from the article:

“Cell-mediated immunity appears to be the more important adaptive immune response against SARS-CoV-2. Memory T cells are instructed to recognize specific antigens to trigger a faster and stronger immune response after encountering the same antigen, they play a central role in protecting against reinfection.

Recent studies done on different population of people affected or not from the virus have demonstrate that natural exposure to the virus, even if not infection develops, can produce a strong memory T cell response.

In a study, published in Nature on July 15, 2020, researchers first looked at the T cells in COVID-19 recovered patients and they found that these were showing long-lasting memory T cells reactive to various SARS-CoV-2 antigens some of which 100% identical to antigenic proteins found on other SARS-CoV-1.

This indicates that subjects who developed SARS-CoV-1 infection may be immune to SARS-CoV-2.The researchers concluded that prior infection with other coronaviruses, including those that cause the common cold, can produce multiple specific and long-lasting T cell effects that impose immunity against not only these viruses, but also to SARS-CoV-2.”

These data obviously justify the existence of cross-reactivity among SARS-CoV-2 and the other Coronaviruses.

In regard instead of what can or not affect the virulence or infectivity of the virus there are of course number of studies and others already proved and validated.

Most common and commented the role of ACE-2 inhibitors, popular lowering blood pressure medications that seem to be a way of facilitation of entrance for the virus instead of a sort of competition due to the fact the virus proteins have affinity for the same receptors to which these drugs bind, but it looks like that ACE-2 inhibitors blocking the receptors lead to an increase in the number of these on the cells increasing this way the number of entrance for SARS-CoV-2.

The gastrointestinal tract, or GI, is another important route for SARS-CoV-2, the virus travels from the gut to the lungs, or other organs, as we know now can infect several area of the body, stomach acid and digestive enzymes have as well important role for immune health.

Proton-Pump-Inhibitors, or PPI, or acid preventing medication are also blamed for increasing the gut route of the coronavirus; tests of validation have been done on animal models.

Digestive enzymes, in particular pancreatic enzymes are part of non-specific resistance to GI infection, proteases like “Serratia Mucolytic Peptidase”, or bromelain are used in vaccine preparation to neutralize viruses.

Dr. Murray was already talking about the benefits of digestive enzymes in previous articles, as much as of the importance of quercetin as ionophore for zinc which is a viral replication inhibitor, as well as about the importance of all the other flavonoids and polyphenols found in fruit and vegetables to support and strength the immune system.

Other factors that may influence or not the infectivity of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 could be the blood type influence or the methylation status of a person, for example, but these factors have been not enough validated, and the comorbidity, or susceptibility, or risk factors, age, and viral load of exposure remain the most documented factors.

The discovers and molecules experimented are several so as the research in course all over the world, among the natural molecules, one of the most approved recently also through clinical trial seems to be the glutathione or GSH- whose precursor is N-acetyl-cysteine or NAC also over mentioned for its mucolytic properties-the most powerful body antioxidant with all its properties and benefits and mainly with detoxification, but recently its antiviral properties have been highlighted even more; it seems from several studies that people with worse course of the disease and fatality have been found with deficit of level of glutathione or GSH as much as of vitamin D levels.

Months ago searching from data from Pub Med I saw  an article of trials done with bromelain, as previously mentioned, bromelain is a digestive enzyme, pretty much used in supplements as digestive aid and even more as anti-inflammatory if taken away from meals; considering the nature of the viral infection and inflammatory  cascade due to the cytokine storm and collateral damages, all the natural molecules with anti-inflammatory principles should be considered. Turmeric, for example, other powerful antioxidant very well-known and with multiple benefits is also used as anti-inflammatory at certain doses.

Other data from Pub Med library were mentioning melatonin as a potential adjuvant treatment, and we have already heard about this one more molecule from many other scientists.

This study for example was evaluating the effects of melatonin with COVID-19 pathology mainly expressed as excessive inflammation and immune response that leads to the cytokine storm and consequent respiratory distress syndrome.” Melatonin, as a well-known sleep aid molecule has many more properties as anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative molecule and is protective against the inflammatory damages caused by pathogens. It seems to be effective in critical care patients by reducing vessel permeability, anxiety, and sedation, and, of course, the sleep quality, beneficial for better clinical outcomes for COVID-19 patients.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32217117/

Another study was analyzing the role of complement activation in COVID-19. The researchers summarize current knowledge about the interaction of coronaviruses with the complement system. They postulate that: “1) coronaviruses activate multiple complement pathways, 2) severe COVID-19 clinical features often resemble pathologies by complement, 3) the combined effects of complement activation, dysregulated neutrophilia, endothelial injury, and hypercoagulability are all characteristics that lead to the severity of COVID-19, 4) a subset of patients with COVID-19 may have a genetic predisposition associated with complement dysregulation, 5) these observations create a basis for clinical trials of complement inhibitors in life-threatening illness.”

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32554923/

The complement for sure is a component to take in consideration in any inflammatory process, and, of course, besides the well known antiviral drugs in use as remdesivir, or hydroxycloroquinine and few others, it seems that also a variety of drugs for autoimmune diseases are working pretty well considering the type of damage created from this virus so as corticosteroids medications. Convalescent plasma from people recovered from COVID-19 also seems to have been used and considered more extensively lately.

Let’s do not forget of the crucial importance of vitamin C also used in critical cases in high doses and vitamin A as well as of vitamin D besides the variety of antiviral herbs now present in the most of the complex for immune support, or therapies like hydrogen peroxide nebulization and ozone therapy, discussed lately from naturopaths as ways to kill microorganisms in general.

Winter is coming and so the influenza season for it is better for all of us continuing to support our immune system and continuing to follow the other common recommendations.

Thanks for Reading

Mariarosaria M.

Sources:

Dr. Michael Murray, N.D. Webinar and Most Recent Articles on COVID-19

Pub Med Library

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