A recent study revealed that some people have innate immunity to certain diseases, which could explain why many have not contracted COVID-19.
A new study in Europe has found evidence that people have innate immunity to certain diseases, which may mean they never contract COVID-19, among other diseases.
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It is a mechanism of resistance to COVID-19 that could explain why many people are much less susceptible to contracting one of the disease variants, which could lead to the development of new drugs.
The study of innate immunity was carried out by researchers from the Humanitas Institute and San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, in conjunction with the Tuscany Life Science Foundation, the Bellinzona Institute for Research in Biomedicine and Queen Mary University of London, and was published in the journal Nature Immunology.
The study revealed that innate immunity is a “functional ancestor of antibodies” and that it is formed by proteins capable of attacking the virus in ways similar to those of real antibodies, and that this immune defence mechanism is created in infancy.
What is innate immunity?
Innate immunity is defined as the first line of attack that responds to exposure to viruses, bacteria and so on, attacking pathogens with a barrier-like response while the body adapts for a targeted defence, known as “adaptive immunity”.
This functional ancestor of antibodies (MLB) are proteins capable of attacking COVID-19 in ways similar to those of real antibodies, which are part of the innate immunity that is built up from infancy.
“We discovered that MBL binds to the peak protein of the virus and blocks it. And we have found that it is able to do this with all the variants tested, including Omicron,” said Prof Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of Humanitas.
Seeking to create innate immunity drug
Mantonvani said the research team is currently optimising MBL to determine whether it will be possible to transform innate immunity proteins into a drug to prevent COVID-19.
He added that it is important to have other weapons available against COVID-19 but stressed that vaccines offer individual and societal efficacy and sustainability against the disease.