Building non-specific immunity in the fight against SARS-CoV-2


Introduction – the problem:
Currently, one of the most important challenges faced by medicine and biological sciences is the fight against the SARS-Cov-2 virus, which causes the acute infectious disease of the respiratory system COVID-19. As there is no known effective antiviral drug, the greatest hopes are placed on the search for a vaccine that can protect against infection by engaging the specific immune system. The non-specific immune system also plays a huge role in the fight against infection as the body’s first line of defense against the pathogen. Another factor that allows to build and support the body’s immune system is taking care of a healthy gut microbiota. Microbiota plays an important role in the regulation of the immune system, and disturbances in its functioning, known as intestinal dysbiosis, are a hallmark of many diseases, including infectious diseases, and has been described in the case of COVID-19.

The offer – the solution:
The use of non-specific vaccines targeting various microorganisms that are contained in the vaccine may be an element of building non-specific immunity. At the same time, by stimulating the immune system, they increase the activity of immune cells against other pathogens. Vaccination with intranasal vaccines containing inactivated bacteria can effectively prevent recurrent infections of the upper respiratory tract or accompanying inflammation. Although, according to specialists, the preparation will not replace classic flu vaccinations, it is a valuable supplement to the vaccination calendar. The gut is another site that should be supported in the context of building immunity. Gut microflora diversity declines in old age, and COVID-19 is particularly at risk for older patients, again pointing to the role that the gut microflora may play in this disease. Adequate nutrition and supplementation can be one of the preventive measures helping to reduce the risk of infection not only in the elderly, children or immunocompromised patients, but also in everyone.

Anna Tejchman
Instytut Biotechnologii BIOMED