Can Intricate Modus Operandi of Interferons in Viral Diseases Bring Real Hope in COVID-19 Pandemic Situation?
North Bengal Medical College, Sushrutanagar, P.O: Thiknikata, Darjeeling, Kolkata 734012, West Bengal, India.
Interferons (IFN), a family of naturally occurring proteins, are secreted mainly from White Blood Cells (WBC), Natural killer cells, fibroblasts and epithelial cells. They are the primary modulator of response of the immune system to viruses, bacteria, cancer and other foreign substances that invade the body. Three types of IFNs have been identified till date and commercially available now by recombinant DNA technology. Type 1 IFN especially IFN-Ăź has already successfully passed the clinical trial against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome related Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) and also being tried in â€śSolidarity clinical trial for COVID-19 treatmentsâ€ť announced by World Health Organisation (WHO) in March, 2020. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged from China in December, 2019. It has rapidly spread out all over the world and become pandemic now. It has infected more than eight million and killing around four lac people worldwide up to June 17, 2020. Elderly persons and people with comorbidities like diabetes, chronic lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases and immune compromised states are the primary victim of this deadly virus. In this regard, we are trying to evaluate the potential benefits of type 1 IFN as a promising and safer treatment modality as well as specific prognostic marker when there are no specific and established vaccines, drugs or prognostic biomarkers available yet against SARS-CoV-2. We can hypothesise that thorough evaluation of these molecules against COVID-19 may open-up a new opportunity to successfully combat this evil.