Coronavirus: How does it attack the human body?
Professor Mark Fielder (microbiologist Kingston University London) said the types of cells most affected by corona virus are goblet cells and ciliated cells. They are responsible for keeping the inside of the lungs moist and clearing out debris like dust or bacteria. ''The problem we've got is the virus infects these cells and starts to kill them. It kills them as part of its replication process. Tissue falls into the lungs, and the lungs start to get blockages. That blockage might mean the patient develops pneumonia. The immune system can worsen the symptoms by going haywire and damaging healthy tissue. Dr Laura Evans (University of Washington) said some people with severe corona virus infections developed problems with other organs.
(Nankai University research study published by Chinaxiv.org, used by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.) They looked at the genome sequence of COVID-19 and found a section of mutated genes that did not exist in SARS. Corona virus has cleavage sites similar to HIV and Ebola, which carry viral proteins that are dormant and have to be 'cut' to be activated. HIV and Ebola target an enzyme called furin, which is responsible for cutting and activating these proteins when they enter the body. The viruses trick furin so it activates them and causes a direct fusion between the virus and human cells. COVID-19 binds to cells in a similar way. This suggests it is different from SARS in the infection pathway. Compared to the SARS way of entry, this binding method is 100 - 1,000 times more efficient.
Doctors fight coronavirus outbreak with drugs that target HIV, malaria and Ebola. Kaletra, an HIV medication may work to block an enzyme the virus needs to mature. An unapproved medicine used to fight the Ebola is being tested in Chinese patients to see whether it can disrupt the new virus’ genetic material. A third drug, used to treat malaria, is also being tried in China to see if it can slow infection by preventing the virus from infiltrating cells.