Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why are some COVID-19 infected people asymptomatic?

Researchers worldwide have been surprised to see that individuals can be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus—the virus that produces COVID-19—without showing symptoms. Since these individuals expose others to infection ...

Medications

'Significant' COVID-19 drug breakthrough

A new inhalation treatment for preventing the spread of COVID-19 is potentially far more effective than currently existing versions, according to new research carried out at the University of St Andrews.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers develop new mouse model for SARS-CoV-2

Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine have developed a new mouse model to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease and to accelerate testing of novel treatments and vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The study, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Hallmark of severe COVID-19 patients identified

A large team of researchers with members affiliated with a host of institutions in France has identified what they believe is a hallmark of severe COVID-19 patients. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Type III interferon in COVID-19: Protective or harmful?

Our immune system makes interferons and other cytokines to help us fight viruses. But in COVID-19, we've learned that they can also contribute to damaging, potentially life-threatening lung inflammation. New work published ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Superinfections pose threat to those being treated for the coronavirus

Viral infections aren't the only cause of deaths during pandemics. A common complication of viral infections such as the flu or the coronavirus is a secondary, superimposed bacterial infection—or a superinfection—resistant ...

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Interferon

Interferons (IFNs) are proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of pathogens—such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites—or tumor cells. They allow communication between cells to trigger the protective defenses of the immune system that eradicate pathogens or tumors.

IFNs belong to the large class of glycoproteins known as cytokines. Interferons are named after their ability to "interfere" with viral replication within host cells. IFNs have other functions: they activate immune cells, such as natural killer cells and macrophages; they increase recognition of infection or tumor cells by up-regulating antigen presentation to T lymphocytes; and they increase the ability of uninfected host cells to resist new infection by virus. Certain host symptoms, such as aching muscles and fever, are related to the production of IFNs during infection.

About ten distinct IFNs have been identified in mammals; seven of these have been described for humans. They are typically divided among three IFN classes: Type I IFN, Type II IFN, and Type III IFN. IFNs belonging to all IFN classes are very important for fighting viral infections.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA