Scottish Daily Mail
Could ticks be used in battle against Covid?
TICKS could offer a potential lifesaving breakthrough in treating Covid-19 patients.
Research is under way in Lanarkshire to examine whether Evasins – a type of protein injected by the blood-sucking parasites when they feed – could be used to help patients whose lungs are badly damaged by the virus.
Work by biotechnology firm ILC Therapeutics indicates that Evasins could have the potential to prevent the progression of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), the leading cause of coronavirus fatalities.
Early research indicates Evasins may save a patient from a so-called ‘cytokine storm’ affecting the lungs. This can be triggered as a result of the body’s immune system going into overdrive.
The team says that Evasins could act like a ‘fire extinguisher’ to fight the potentially deadly response.
ILC chief scientific officer Professor William Stimson said: ‘In the case of Covid-19, Evasins could have the potential to work even in extreme conditions of advanced ARDS by putting out the cytokine and chemokine fire raging in the lungs.
This could prevent further damage and potentially save patients’ lives at a highly critical stage of the fight against the virus.’
The study is being split between the BioCity site at Newhouse and Oxford University.