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Tags: flu | mutation | cytokine | inflammation

Genetic Mutation Makes Flu Deadly

By Thursday, 09 April 2020 02:45 PM Current | Bio | Archive

One of the big questions facing us is why do some people — especially young, seemingly healthy people — die from contracting the flu virus?

We know they die as a result of a cytokine storm, but why does that happen only to certain people?

It appears that these unfortunate people have a genetic defect that makes the viral receptors on their epithelial tissues and macrophages (called pattern recognition receptors or PRRs) significantly more sensitive than normal.

This triggers a powerful immune response that causes a hyperintense inflammation within the lungs.

Interestingly, this hyperintense inflammatory response does not kill the virus any better than a normal response.

These genetic mutations are called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. Normally, the response to viruses is a carefully controlled release of inflammatory chemicals. But with these SNPs, we see a massive amount of inflammatory chemicals released.

Studies have identified people with this set of gene abnormalities, and have shown that when they are infected they are much more likely to die from a cytokine storm.

And vaccinating such people may not protect them from cytokine storms because the viral reaction with the over-responsive receptors will still take place.

Most importantly, we do not know what harmful effects may occur when these people are vaccinated. They could possibly overreact to the vaccine as well.

In fact, it’s known that some people do have a mutation of the gene controlling an immune receptor that could cause a cytokine storm when it comes in contact with certain vaccine components.

Unfortunately, no one has studied this important effect in the general population, and we don’t really know just how many people have this gene mutation.

But it does explain why some young, seemingly healthy people die when exposed to the flu virus — especially if it is a virulent strain.

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One of the big questions facing us is why do some people — especially young, seemingly healthy people — die from contracting the flu virus?
flu, mutation, cytokine, inflammation
Thursday, 09 April 2020 02:45 PM
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