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COVID-19 immunotherapy A mathematical model I


The pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for a terrible
health devastation with profoundly harmful consequences for the eco-
nomic, social and political activities of communities on a global scale.
Extraordinary efforts have been made by the world scientific community,
who, in solidarity, shared knowledge so that effective vaccines could be
produced quickly. However, it is still important to study therapies that
can reduce the risk, until group immunity is reached, which, globally, will
take a time that is still difficult to predict. On the other hand, the im-
munity time guaranteed by already approved vaccines is still uncertain.
The current study proposes a therapy whose foundation lies in the impor-
tant role that innate immunity may have, by preventing the disease from
progressing to the acute phase that may eventually lead to the patient’s
death. Our focus is on NK cells and their relevant role.
Natural killer cells (NK) are considered the primary defence lympho-
cytes against virus-infected cells. They play a critical role in modulating
the immune system. Preliminary studies in COVID-19 patients with severe
disease, suggest a reduction in the number and function of NK cells, result-
ing in decreased clearance of infected and activated cells and unchecked
elevation of inflammation markers that damage tissue. SARS-CoV-2 in-
fection distorts the immune response towards a highly inflammatory phe-
notype. Restoring the effector functions of NK cells has the potential
to correct the delicate immune balance needed to effectively overcome
SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Emilie Gomes


Year of publication: 2021



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