Cytokine storm may be keeping COVID-19 patients from develop
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In a recent study, a team of researchers at MIT and Harvard claimed that cytokine storms may be the reason why COVID-19 patients are not able to develop lasting immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The findings of the study published in the journal Cell suggest that this is due to the absence of germinal centres in the spleen and lymph nodes of coronavirus patients.

Researchers looked into the spleens and lymph nodes of patients who died of COVID-19. Some of these patients had died within 10 days of hospitalisation while others had died within 15 to 36 days. However, all of these patients had one thing in common: the absence of germinal centres.

These patients also showed a marked reduction in B cells. Without B cells, there won’t be a high-quality immune response to produce long-lasting antibodies.

Interestingly, T follicular helper cells were diminished in these patients, which study lead scientist suggested as the possible reason for the reduction in B cells.

Explaining the study, Dr Pillai, researcher team lead, said in a news release, “Without the formation of germinal centers, there is unlikely to be long-term memory to this virus developing from natural infections, meaning that while antibodies may protect people for a relatively short time, a single person who recovers from the disease could get infected again, perhaps six months later, or even multiple times with SARS-CoV-2. This suggests that developing herd immunity may be difficult.”

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