People with high levels of interferon alfa, high lymphocyte counts in the blood, and carriers of certain genetic markers may have increased protection against coronavirus, said Areg Totolyan, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the Pasteur Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
According to Izvestia, there are other factors that provide protection against coronavirus, but research on them is just beginning.
Totolyan noted that the first protective factor is the level of local protection. Coronavirus infection enters the body through the upper respiratory tract, and if the body has a high level of interferon alpha, the risk of infection is reduced. Interferon alpha is a molecule that is synthesized and produced by cells of the immune system, it has a direct antiviral effect.
The second factor is genetic markers that code for the immune response in humans.
“We have identified two protective alleles and one predisposing to disease. These are the very first results of the study, it continues, and in the active phase,” Totolyan said.
In addition, a high lymphocyte count means that a person is less likely to become infected, and if it does, there is less risk that the disease will be severe.