The Long-Awaited Article By Prof. Arditi and Prof. Bahar is PublishedThe research by Prof. Dr. Ivet Bahar and Prof. Dr. Moshe Arditi reveals how COVID-19 causes uncontrollable inflammation in some patients.
Translation by Ekin GIDON
The answer to the question of why COVID-19 causes excessive inflammation has finally been unveiled by the scientific research lead by Prof. Dr. Ivet Bahar of Pittsburgh University and Prof. Dr. Moshe Arditi of Cedars-Sinai Hospital.
The article published in the scientific journal ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, with the use of computer modeling, claims that the binding region of Spike proteins along the viral membrane of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can act like a superantigen (virus, bacteria, parasite), causing the immune system to overact. The condition of the immune system working overtime is also observed in the deadly toxic shock syndrome caused by the bacteria.
In child COVID-19 patients, a new symptom by the name of ‘Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)’ has been detected. Prof. Arditi, a leading expert on a similar condition called Kawasaki Disease, which can be fatal in children, although rarely, contacted Prof. Bahar who is an expert on computer and system biology, on this development. The duo started working on finding the part of the virus that is responsible for MIS-C.
Bahar and her team generated a computer model demonstrating the interaction between the virus’ Spike protein and T-cells, commonly known as the soldiers of the immune system. T-cells, which usually fight the infection caused by an antigen entering the body, multiply to excessive amounts when encountering a superantigen and produce the inflammation-inducing cytokine. Using the model, the region of the Spike protein showing the superantigen character, and more importantly, the heavy inclination of this region to bind with T-cells was determined. This region was compared to the protein of the bacteria that causes toxic shock syndrome and was found to have many similarities. This resemblance similarly cleared the way for both the treatment of adults experiencing a deluge of cytokine and the afflicted children.
Arditi, who expressed how everything fits together perfectly like puzzle pieces in his statement, also gave the good news that the treatments such as intravenous immunoglobulin (antibody serum) and steroids used in toxic shock syndrome, can also be effective in treating these COVID-19 related syndromes. The duo’s laboratories will now focus on trying to find specifically which antibody fights the superantigen region of this virus, for the treatment of both conditions.
For the interviews with Prof. Moshe Arditi and Prof. Ivet Bahar: