Off balance: interferons in COVID-19 lung infections
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Interferons are innate and adaptive cytokines involved in many biological responses, in particular, viral infections. With the final response the result of the balance of the different types of Interferons. Cytokine storms are physiological reactions observed in humans and animals in which the innate immune system causes an uncontrolled and excessive release of pro-inflammatory signaling molecules. The excessive and prolonged presence of these cytokines can cause tissue damage, multisystem organ failure and death. The role of Interferons in virus clearance, tissue damage and cytokine storms are discussed, in view of COVID-19 caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The imbalance of Type I, Type II and Type III Interferons during a viral infection contribute to the clinical outcome, possibly together with other cytokines, in particular, TNFα, with clear implications for clinical interventions to restore their correct balance.
Akamatsu MA, Castro JT, Takano CY, Ho PL. Off balance: interferons in COVID-19 lung infections. EBioMedicine. 2021 Nov;73:103642. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103642.
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