The immunologist told who is not at risk of COVID-19 and what it depends on
In the world, the coronavirus pandemic continues for the second year, only herd immunity will stop it, scientists say. The mechanisms why one person does not notice the virus and the other dies from its consequences are not completely clear. There are known risk groups: the elderly, people with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, etc. MIR 24 asked the immunologist Vladimir Bolibok who was not in danger of getting sick.
According to the doctor, there are people who are not infected with Ebola, plague, smallpox. It depends on the genetic susceptibility to any infection. So far, human genetics in relation to coronavirus has not been studied, but, in all likelihood, in the future, scientists will find out what genetic aspects are associated with immunity. From the very beginning of the pandemic, it became clear that age plays a big role. Children get sick with the coronavirus COVID-19 very rarely – they are mostly asymptomatic.
“There is a concept called“ innate antiviral immunity, ”for which certain cells of the immune system are responsible – they are called“ natural killer cells ”. Therefore, children practically do not get sick with coronavirus, and if they do, then this, as a rule, is associated with disorders of the child's immune system. These same cells are responsible for anti-tumor immunity, so children get cancer much less often than adults. “
Over the course of life, age-related changes in the immune system occur, which manifest themselves in the form of diseases, including the frequency of deaths from coronavirus at different ages. To understand the state of the immune system, there is a study of cellular immunity.
“You can see how well the innate antiviral immunity is preserved. But I do not see such studies being carried out. This problem is now practically not dealt with, the world immunology has gone a little in the other direction. This was done in the 70s of the last century, drugs were developed to overcome age-related immunodeficiency, which can still be bought in pharmacies today. But all this is not even discussed now, ”says Bolibok.