Nose-tonsils-pharynx: this is where the decisive battle against the coronavirus could be played. And it is here, in the upper airways, that a group of Italian and American scientists have discovered a difference that could be crucial between those who develop Covid in a severe form and those who overcome it with mild symptoms, albeit with high viral loads. This difference is played on particular molecules, the interferons: low levels in the upper airways seem not to allow effective control of the virus and expose to more severe complications. High levels of antiviral response in the upper airways – less common in older patients – promote better control of the virus, exposing you to a reduced risk of serious outcomes. The study, published in ‘Cell’, arises from the collaboration between the Laboratory of Microbiology and Virology of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University and the Immunology Division of the Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Researchers described the molecular differences between SARS-CoV-2 infections with major symptoms and mild symptoms, identifying an important element in the interferon response in the upper airways. (continues)
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