Wednesday, 30 Sep 2020

Podcast: Can boosting the immune system, rather than suppressing it, work against COVID-19?

A new episode of our podcast, “Show Me the Science,” has been posted. At present, these podcast episodes are highlighting research and patient care on the Washington University Medical Campus as our scientists and clinicians confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

New research from scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that the immune systems of COVID-19 patients can’t do enough to protect them from the virus.

A popular theory has it that patients’ immune systems get so revved up fighting the virus that, after several days, a so-called cytokine storm ensues, resulting in potentially fatal organ damage, particularly to the lungs. But new findings from a team of researchers led by Richard S. Hotchkiss, MD, a professor of anesthesiology, and Kenneth E. Remy, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics, have found that many patients get very sick because their immune systems can’t do enough to protect them from the virus. They’re suggesting that rather than trying to dampen the immune response, a better treatment strategy for COVID-19 would involve boosting immunity.

The podcast, “Show Me the Science,” is produced by the Office of Medical Public Affairs at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Researchers find weakened, rather than hyperactive, immunity in response to virus

Transcript

Transcript coming soon.

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