Trials of new treatments for Covid-19 are about to start
British scientists are preparing to test a treatment that they hope will improve even the health of the people most affected by COVID-19.
Scientists have found that the number of immune cells called T cells is much smaller in people with the most severe disease.
T cells must clear the infection of the lower body.
This clinical trial will test whether a drug called interleukin 7 can help patients recover. Interleukin 7 can increase the number of T cells.
Participants in the study came from the Francis Creek Institute, King ’s College London, and Gay and St Thomas Hospital.
Experts examined the immune cells in the blood of 60 people infected with COVID-19 and found that their T cells were significantly reduced.
Adrian Hayday, a professor at the Francis Creek Institute, said he was “surprised” to see what is happening in the immune system.
“These cells try to protect us, but this virus is doing something like laying a carpet under the feet, because their number has been greatly reduced.”
In healthy adults, a microliter of blood contains 2,000 to 4,000 T cells, also known as T lymphocytes.
People who test Covid-19 have only 200 to 1200 cells.
The researchers say these results paved the way for a “fingerprint test” that can detect the number of T cells in the blood and first determine who can be seriously infected with the disease.
However, they also emphasize the possibility of adopting special therapies to strengthen the immune system.
Dr. Manu Shankar Hari of Guys & St. Thomas Hospital said that 70% of the patients he saw in the intensive care unit were Covid-19 patients, with 400 to 800 T cells per microliter. “As they get better, the number of these cells in them starts to increase.”
Interleukin 7 has been tested in a few patients with sepsis (bacterial infection) and has been shown to increase the production of these specific cells.
it will give patients with low T cells and spend more than three days in intensive care.
Dr Manu Shankar said: “We hope (as we increase the number of these cells) that the virus infection can be cleared from the body.
He said: “As an intensive care physician, he saw critically ill patients. Apart from symptomatic treatment, we have no other direct treatment for the disease.” Therefore, for British intensive care physicians, any medical Experiments are encouraging signs.
The study also clarified the specific way it attacks the immune system. Professor Hayday said the information is very important.
“The virus that causes this disease is an emergency and may change the face of the planet. This virus is unique and this virus is different. There is no precedent.”
He said: “But we still don’t know the exact cause of the T cell decline.” The virus’s role is very unique, and future research should examine how the virus produces these effects. And this research should start immediately. “