Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Photo by Unsplash

Mechanisms that can stop the infection at the site where it enters our body can prevent the spread and serious complications.

Immunologists have discovered a previously unknown mechanism of a type of white blood cell that acts like a spider web, trapping and killing pathogens such as influenza or SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19.

The researchers, from McMaster University in Canada, have found that neutrophils -- the most abundant white blood cells in the human body -- explode when they bind to such pathogens coated in antibodies and release DNA outside of the cell, creating a sticky tangle that acts as a trap.

Follow NewsGram on Instagram to keep yourself updated.

The findings, published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, are significant because little is understood about how antibodies neutralise viruses in the respiratory tract.

The discovery also has implications for vaccine design and delivery, including aerosol and nasal spray technologies that could help the body head off infections before they have a chance to take hold, the researchers said.

"Vaccines can produce these antibodies that are present in our lungs, which are the first type of antibody to see viruses like flu or Covid-19, which infect our lungs and respiratory tracts," says the study's lead author Matthew Miller, Associate Professor at McMaster's Michael G DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research.

"Mechanisms that can stop the infection at the site where it enters our body can prevent the spread and serious complications," he added.

By comparison, injectable vaccines are designed to bolster antibodies in the blood, but those antibodies are not as prevalent at the sites where the infection begins.


Covid-19 How antibodies neutralise viruses in the respiratory tract. Photo by Unsplash

"We should be thinking carefully about next-generation Covid-19 vaccines that could be administered in the respiratory tract to stimulate antibodies," said lead author Hannah Stacey, a graduate student in the Miller's Lab.

"If you want a lot of these antibodies that are abundant in blood, then injections make the most sense, but if you want antibodies that are abundant in the respiratory tract, then a spray or an aerosol makes sense," she noted.

Researchers caution that while the body's spider-web mechanism has the potential to be hugely beneficial, it can cause harm too, including inflammation and further illness when the web formation is uncontrollable.

ALSO READ The role of vitamin-D in tuberculosis

They point to the early waves of the pandemic, before vaccinations, when these NETs, or neutrophil extracellular traps, were found in some patients' lungs and had made their breathing more difficult. (IANS/AD)


Popular

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations.

By Nimerta C Sharan

Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations, here's what you can look forward to :

Bag This
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags 'Artycapucines - Chapter 3'. Six internationally -- acclaimed artists have transformed the black canvas of the timeless Capucines bag into beautiful art pieces. Each bag will be available in a limited edition of 200 and will be released worldwide at the end of October 2021.

white leather shoulder bag on shopping cart Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags. | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
IANS

Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body

Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body and left her with "permanent stretch marks". For her role in the film, based on the life of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and former actress J. Jayalalithaa, Kangana had to gain 20kg and undergo major physical transformation several times.

She took to Instagram to share her experience, detailing that doing all that over the six months period left her with "permanent stretch marks". "Gaining 20 kgs in 6 months and loosing it all within 6 months that too in my thirties messed up many things in my bodya I also have permanent stretch marks as well but art comes to life with a price and more often than not price is the artist him/herself," she wrote.

"Thalaivii" showcases the varied aspects of Jayalalithaa's life, tracing her journey as an actress at a young age to becoming the face of Tamil cinema, as well as the rise of the revolutionary leader who changed the course of the state's politics. Talking about her upcoming works, Kangana currently has 'Dhaakad'.

She is also shooting for her next 'Tejas', where she plays a fighter pilot. The Indian Air Force was the first of the country's defence forces to induct women into combat roles in 2016. The film takes inspiration from the landmark event. 'Tejas' is directed by debutant Sarvesh Mewara. The film will be RSVP's second film which pays a tribute to the Indian military after the immensely successful film "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which was released in January 2019. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep Reading Show less
Wikimedia Commons

Signal's encrypted messaging app continues to be down on Monday after facing global outage on Sunday.

Signal's encrypted messaging app continues to be down on Monday after facing global outage on Sunday. The firm said it is working to fix it. "Hold tight, folks! Signal is currently down, due to a hosting outage affecting parts of our service. We're working on bringing it back up," the firm said in a tweet on Sunday.

The status website says the encrypted messaging app is "experiencing technical difficulties" and many people are also getting an in-app error message that says the same thing. Signal allows for secure and encrypted video, voice and text communication, but users are unable to send any messages.

According to Downdetector.com, users started reporting outages around 11:05 PM Eastern Standard Time and it appears to be affecting people around the world. Comments shared on Downdetector.com indicates that Signal was down for users from India, US, Germany, New Zealand, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil and many other countries.

"Down in Midwest USA. Signal was started by people connected to which secret 3-letter organization? (Look it up) Yep, that's right! An app disguised a privacy app to trick you into sharing more private information than you would with another messaging app," a user said. "I think Signal is having a rough day. Good luck, Team Signal. I'm sure you'll have it sorted out in a snap," said another. The encrypted messaging service has climbed to the top spot in the free apps category of the App Store in multiple countries, including India. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep reading... Show less