US News Scientists reveal how the body fights back against coronavirus

06:40  18 march  2020
06:40  18 march  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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Scientists in Australia have mapped immune responses from one of the country’s first novel coronavirus patients to show how the human body fights and recovers from COVID-19. Experts at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity tested blood samples at four different points in

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a close up of food: The team was able to track the development of white blood cells (file pic) © Getty The team was able to track the development of white blood cells (file pic)

Scientists in Australia say they have for the first time mapped how the body's immune system responds to coronavirus, an important step in the possible creation of an effective vaccine.

Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne were able to test blood samples at four different time points in an otherwise healthy woman in her 40s, who presented with COVID-19 and had mild-to-moderate symptoms.

The report, published in the journal Nature Medicine, focused an a 47-year-old woman from Wuhan, Hubei province, China who had travelled to Australia 11 days before she began to display symptoms.

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Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body 's immune system fights the Covid-19 virus. Their research, published in Nature Medicine "This [discovery] is important because it is the first time where we are really understanding how our immune system fights novel coronavirus ," said

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She turned up at a Melbourne A & E complaining of lethargy, sore throat, dry cough, pleuritic chest pain, shortness of breath and fever.

She was otherwise healthy and was a non-smoker taking no medications. Her condition was managed through intravenous fluid rehydration without supplemental oxygenation. No antibiotics, steroids or antiviral agents were used.

The research team was able to use her blood samples to map the response of her immune system to the virus.

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One of the authors of the paper, research fellow Dr Oanh Nguyen said this was the first time that broad immune responses to COVID-19 have been reported.

"We looked at the whole breadth of the immune response in this patient using the knowledge we have built over many years of looking at immune responses in patients hospitalised with influenza," Dr Nguyen said.

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"Three days after the patient was admitted, we saw large populations of several immune cells, which are often a tell-tale sign of recovery during seasonal influenza infection, so we predicted that the patient would recover in three days, which is what happened."

Working together with Professor Katherine Kedzierska, a leading influenza immunology researcher at the University of Melbourne, the team was able to dissect the immune response leading to successful recovery from COVID-19, which might be the secret to finding an effective vaccine.

"We showed that even though COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, in an otherwise healthy person, a robust immune response across different cell types was associated with clinical recovery, similar to what we see in influenza," Professor Kedzierska said.

"This is an incredible step forward in understanding what drives recovery of COVID-19. People can use our methods to understand the immune responses in larger COVID-19 cohorts, and also understand what's lacking in those who have fatal outcomes."

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So how is the virus attacking the body , why are some people being killed and how is it treated? Incubation period. It first infects the cells lining your throat, airways and lungs and turns them into " coronavirus factories" that spew out huge numbers of new viruses that go on to infect yet more cells.

Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. Coronavirus infects the lungs. The symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough, which can It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, scientists have said, but some

a close up of a map: The team mapped the progress of the immune response Pic: Doherty Institute © Getty The team mapped the progress of the immune response Pic: Doherty Institute Dr Thevarajan said that current estimates show more than 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases are mild-to-moderate, and understanding the immune response in these mild cases is very important research.

"We hope to now expand our work nationally and internationally to understand why some people die from COVID-19, and build further knowledge to assist in the rapid response of COVID-19 and future emerging viruses," she said.

Follow the government's latest travel advice for people travelling back to the UK from affected areas, including whether to self-isolate. Don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and call NHS 111. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS DIrect on 0845 46 47. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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This is interesting!