It is true that the topic COVID-19 has lost popularity in society, however, the numbers reveal that the pandemic is still very active, and in Portugal several people continue to die daily.
As far as the COVID-19 disease is concerned, there is new information. A recent study reveals that COVID-19 infections can lead to massive inflammation in the body.
COVID-19: Virus can infect immune system cells called monocytes and macrophages
from the first days of the pandemic that doctors noticed that in severe cases of COVID-19 – the ones that took people to hospitals connected to ventilators – most of the internal injuries were not being caused directly by the virus itself, but by a wave of immune reactions triggered. the body to fight the infection.
A study now published reveals that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID_19, can infect certain types of immune system cells called monocytes and macrophages. Monocytes and macrophages are frontline white blood cells in the immune system. They have the task of circulating in the blood and tissues, to find and destroy pathogens.
When this threat is absorbed, these cells have what can best be described as a “cellular junkyard” called an endosome, which normally eliminates the infectious agent.
Monocytes and macrophages lack ACE-2 receptors, the gates that the virus uses to dock and infect other types of cells. Instead, the virus enters these cells because of another immune system worker — the Y-shaped antibodies that latch onto the virus in an attempt to stop it attaching to our cells.
When antibodies catch the virus, the tail of the antibody - called the FC portion - sticks out. This stalk acts as a flag to call monocytes and macrophages to let them know there's a bad guy to catch.
According to the study, people with COVID-19 tended to have a more unusual type of monocytes with CD16 receptors. These receptors recognize the antibody stalks that the body produces to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
These antibodies bind to monocytes with CD16 receptors, causing the cell to absorb the virus. Once inside, the virus starts trying to replicate itself, triggering the harmful inflammatory reaction.