Ottawa [Canada], November 17 (ANI): New research has shown how dexamethasone, the main treatment for severe COVID-19 lung infections, can help male patients, but has little or no benefit for women.
The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
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These significant findings are the result of a multidisciplinary study published in the journal Nature Medicine, led by Dr. Jeff Biernaskie, Professor of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) and Dr. Bryan Yipp, Associate Professor, Department. Critical Care Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine.
“We found that men benefited from steroids and women, both at the cellular and population level, benefited to a limited extent,” said Yipp, director of research for pulmonary immunology, inflammation, and host defense in Canada.
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“Currently, it is possible that the primary care we provide for everyone with severe COVID-19 will only benefit half of the population. This is a big problem,” Yipp added.
At the onset of the pandemic, data on the efficacy of drugs in COVID-19 conditions were not yet available for the treatment of severely ill hospitals. Steroids were the first drugs to be proven to have benefits, but they were only moderately successful in reducing deaths, and their effects were not understood.
In addition, at the start of the study, no one knew exactly how immune cells would respond to COVID-19 infection at the cellular level. Why did some people really get sick while others didn’t? Why did certain medications help others but not others?
“In order to develop new treatments, we wanted to study how different people respond to SARS-CoV2 infection and how different immune responses dictate the severity of their disease,” said Biernaskie, president of the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society for Skin Regeneration and Wound. Cure.
Yipp and Biernaskie are working to better understand how steroids helped, while evaluating why a clinical study of steroids in COVID-19 showed that they only helped some men, but not women.
When Yipp used the provincial eCRITICAL database of all intensive care unit appointments during the pandemic, he found that the introduction of dexamethasone treatment in Alberta reduced the number of men dying, but had no effect on the female population.
Blood was collected from both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients admitted to the Calgary Intensive Care Unit for severe respiratory distress. Researchers at the Biernaski Laboratory used state-of-the-art single-cell RNA sequencing and bioinformatics techniques to simultaneously analyze the functional states of thousands of immune cells in each patient. This allowed them to document cellular behavior at different stages of the disease (COVID-19 or non-COVID infections) and to measure treatment effects.
“We sampled as many patients as we could, not only once, but also at the time of follow-up, to gain insight into the development of the disease and the development of the immune response,” Biernaskie said.
In most viral infections, proteins called interferons clear the virus quickly. But COVID-19 doesn’t work fast, but “the interferon response drains along, which actually fuels the inflammatory fire, and then you get worse organ damage,” Yipp said.
“We found that especially in men, we see an exaggerated neutrophil interferon response that is significantly subdued when a patient is given dexamethasone,” Biernaskie said.
“But in women, compared to men, their neutrophil interferon response was much milder, so dexamethasone had little effect,” Biernaskie added.
Yipp believes that after figuring out the reasons why dexamethasone affects bias, researchers can figure out how to create treatments that benefit more people, or individualized treatments, also known as precision or personalized medicine. the general approach is not used.
Biernaskie and Yipp make significant contributions from trainees and junior researchers who participated in the study, including Dr. Nicole Rosin and Sarthak Sinha, who spent countless hours leading the project and analyzing the results.
The project was supported by the Biernaskie and Yipp Thistledown Foundation and the Calgary Firefighters Burn Treatment Society, “who enthusiastically supported my request to direct some of the CFBTS chair’s funds to support this initiative in the early stages of a pandemic,” Biernaski said. (LETTER I)
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