New Study May Elucidate On The Adaptive Immune Response To C
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New research funded by the National Cancer Institute aims to boost understanding of how the immune system responds to COVID-19, from the start of infection to recovery. From the time a person is exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the immune system is hard at work performing early immunological events.

A team of investigators at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, acknowledges that a major gap exists in understanding antibody resistance to CoV2 and the series of immunological events that take place after exposure. The team is focused on discerning how the earliest innate immune responses to CoV2 either positively or negatively affect development of humoral immunity.

Their research involves following household contacts of clinical cases of CoV2 to determine innate and adaptive immune events associated with this early viral exposure over a 28-day period. "By characterizing the early immune response prior to onset of symptoms we hope to identify features that will predict symptomatic versus asymptomatic cases, disease severity and long-term immunity," said Christopher L. King MD, who is helping to coordinate the team's effort.

Recovery from COVID-19 can put extreme pressure on the immune system, especially for patients with pre-existing complications. Certain individuals, including those with impaired immune function and those with heart disease, appear to be at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.

David Zidar, MD, an associate professor at the School of Medicine and an interventional cardiologist at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, and Timothy A. Chan, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at Cleveland Clinic and co-director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine at Case Western Reserve, are investigating differences in immunologic function and risk factors for heart disease, and how these relate to COVID-19.

The team's research could have an impact for all COVID-19 patients with pre-existing conditions, not just those with heart disease.

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