The University of Massachusetts School of Medicine has discovered a molecule that can stimulate innate immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and it could also be potentially effective in antiviral prophylaxis.
The new development, the authors emphasize, will be relevant for people who cannot receive the vaccine, as well as for those who have impaired immunity or have allergies.
Vaccines work by stimulating the adaptive immune system, after which it builds antibodies against diseases and viruses. By taking a small piece of a virus that doesn’t cause infection, scientists can train the adaptive immune system to recognize specific viruses. Once the adaptive immune system is trained, it can respond more quickly to subsequent exposure to a specific virus.
The innate immune system, however, is more versatile. She identifies any pathogen she may encounter, be it bacterial, viral, or fungal. One of its main functions is the production of cytokines, it can be called the first line of defense in contact with the virus. Cytokines also alert the immune system to the presence of a virus and trigger the adaptive immune system.
The intracellular STING protein acts as a signaling agent for the immune system. As soon as it starts, the production of cytokine interferon begins. This activity stimulates the adaptive immune system to fight infection.
The enemy of STING is diABZI-4: it can potentially serve as a signal to awaken the immune system, giving it an impetus to fight pathogens.
immunostimulating properties of diABZI-4 can also be used as an antiviral drug. It is already being tested as a cancer immunotherapy.