Researchers are beginning to theorize about improving the strength of interferons — “foot soldiers” to our immune system — to battle the novel coronavirus, according to The Washington Post.

What’s going on?

Multiple trials are working to give coronavirus patients immune proteins called interferons.

  • Interferons interfere with a virus’ life cycle and are considered “the best soldiers, as it were, of the innate immune system,” Anthony S. Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post.
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Trials are underway to see if these interferons can be added to our immune system early to fight off the coronavirus and prevent a severe disease, or added later to improve recovery.

Research supports this

According to a study in the journal Science, French researchers found that the worst coronavirus cases came from people who had low amounts of interferons.

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Per Science News, a study from Yale New Haven Hospital found that “bolstering the body’s first line of defense against the virus using drugs known as interferons may help prevent severe illness.”

  • The study found that moderately ill patients had a small increase of immune chemicals to fight the coronavirus and then dipped back down. But those who had more severe cases had low levels of immune cells that killed viruses.