The Covid-19 kills as if a venom is spreading in the body!

While the pandemic has still not been contained, scientists continue to seek to better understand what causes the most severe cases of Covid-19. They could, this time, have identified a key molecular mechanism responsible for its mortality. An enzyme linked to neurotoxins found in rattlesnake venom!

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Scientists have been studying theenzyme which they named sPLA2-IIA. Some call it the “Shredder”. Because it is capable, in the event of bacterial infection, of destroying cell membranes microbial. By attacking specific fats that these This term encompasses a variety of very different species, whether prokaryotes (bacteria) or eukaryotes (yeasts, algae) …. “data-image =” https: // cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/1/7/5/1753fd009d_50035172_escherichia-coli-microorganisme-ars-wikimedia-03.jpg “data-url =” https://www.futura-sciences.com / sante / definitions / biologie-micro-organism-6183 / “data-more =” Read more “>microbes bear on the outer surface of their membranes. And she recently made the talk again. As part of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The University of Arizona researchers (United States) explain to us today that this enzyme is found at low concentrations in healthy individuals. Thus helping us to defend ourselves against infections. Safe because, even if the human cells also carry the famous fats targeted by sPLA2-IIA, it is rather on the inside of their walls. What to protect them.

But in sick individuals, when cells start to die from an infection, these fats can be exposed. And when sPLA2-IIA is circulating at high levels in the blood, the machine races. The enzyme confuses the mitochondria – the powerhouses of our cells – with bacteria. Instead of just targeting foreign cells, it starts to “Shred” ours.

A new therapeutic avenue?

The link with the Covid-19 ? The one the researchers identified when analyzing samples from Plasma in Biology
Liquid part of the blood which represents about 55% of its volume. Plasma is composed of water and contains lipids (fats), hormones, factors of … “data-image =” https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/5/ 1/9 / 519c1b8d6a_50034460_plasma-02.jpg “data-url =” https://www.futura-sciences.com/sante/definitions/medecine-plasma-2871/ “data-more =” Read more “>plasma of more than 250 patients. A cohort which remains modest, but for which all the useful chemical parameters were available. What to confirm some risk factors : age, body mass index or a pre-existing disease. But also, look at biochemical enzymes and levels of metaboliteslipids present in the blood of patients.

“We were able to identify the metabolite patterns present in individuals who succumbed to the disease”, explains Justin Snider, lead author of the study, in a communicated. A correlation between sPLA2-IIA levels and severe Covid-19 that suggests the enzyme could be a critical factor in fatal cases.

In most healthy individuals, sPLA2-IIA concentrations in the blood hover around half a nanogram per milliliter (ng / ml). According to the study, Covid-19 was fatal in 63% of patients whose levels of this enzyme reached or exceeded 10 ng / ml. This is still five times more than in patients who have recovered from severe forms. “Many patients who died from Covid-19 had some of the highest levels of this enzyme ever reported”, says Floyd Chilton, who has studied sPLA2-IIA for more than three decades. Up to more than 1,000 ng / ml. The discovery could pave the way for new therapeutic avenues . But other studies and especially clinical testswill need to be conducted to confirm this.

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