Scottish Daily Mail

Could ticks be used in bat­tle against Covid?

- Health · Pharmaceutical Industry · Medications · Medicine · Science · Respiratory Disorders · Industries · Pharmacology · Health Conditions · Oxford University · Oxford

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.

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