There are various kinds of cells in the human body that produce small glycoproteins known as Cytokines. When these glycoproteins are released then the Cytokines play an important role in promoting functional activities of our body to a wide range including cell proliferation control, endocrine activities as well as regulating or inflammatory and immune system.
Some of the widely studied Cytokines are:
- Interferons [ IFNs ]
- Colony-stimulating factors [ CSFs ]
- Tumor Necrosis Factor [ TNF ]
Cytokine storms are seen as a symptom of various infectious diseases. Cytokine storms or Hypercytokinemia are the uncontrollable inflammatory responses that are given by the immune system of our body. Mostly, acute inflammation starts and is also identified with five key symptoms which are:
- Redness or rubor
- Tumor or Swelling
- Calor or heat
- Dolor or pain
- Function Leesa or loss of function
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The inflammation can occur at any part of your body but typically an increase in blood flow will follow these five symptoms which will allow plasma proteins or leukocytes to reach the part of the injury, this might be good for defending against bacterial infections but this will often cost a local organ of yours.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is the most notable clinical condition in the human body that is associated with Cytokine Storms. This syndrome has accounted for a noticeable number of deaths from SARS-CoV-2. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome’s pathogenesis starts with inflammatory harm to the membrane covering the alveolar capillary. In this case, the permeability of the lungs occurs. Due to the increase in the permeability of the lungs the pulmonary edema fluid which is protein-rich is drawn into the lungs which will lead to insufficient respiration in our bodies. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome is one of the most considered hallmarks of clinical complications due to SARS-CoV-2 in the immune system.
Cytokine Storm in COVID-19:
The COVID-19 breakout has to lead to a very critical condition in the whole world. The world came under a situation of panic due to the COVID-19 breakout in the year 2020. Doctors and research specialists have been experimenting and studying the virus for over one year now. In the studies conducted recently, it was found that the infection by COVID-19 in patients leads to high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines like IL-1 B, IL-6, IFN-g, IL-2, and also chemokines. It is seen in the studies that there is a deep connection between COVID-19 and Cytokine Storms. The patients in the intensive care unit or ICU had a very high level of CCL 2, CXCL 10, and Tumor Necrosis Factor-a as compared to the patients admitted in the general section of hospitals or nursing homes. The patients admitted in the general section experienced less critical symptoms and did not require any kind of admission in the Intensive Care units also known as ICUs.
Cytokine Storms are used as a warning symbol for a critical treatment not only in the case of COVID-19. These Cytokine Storms have been a part of dangerous infectious viruses like SARS, influenza, and MERS. These storms are the symbols of disease escalating to a critical condition in the human body which can lead to early death. If COVID-19 is left untreated then the Cytokine Storm can also lead to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome also known as ARDS in many cases and also progress further to cause damage of tissues extensively, failure in the proper functioning of important internal organs which may eventually lead to death.
Treatment of Cytokine Storm caused due to COVID-19:
A very critical period of five to seven days is there when a person is infected by Corona Virus also known as COVID-19. In these five to seven days which is between the COVID-19 diagnosis and the day on which many functional organs stops working properly which is called MODS also known as Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome. Most of the patients that are eighty percent of the patients show improvement during this time but twenty percent of the patients suffer from severe pneumonia. In the end, it is seen on average that at most two percent of the patients die due to this.
A large range of anti-inflammatory therapies is being tried with the hope of controlling these Cytokine Storms which are caused due to COVID-19. To control the harmful effects that the Cytokine Storms can have on the people infected by COVID-19 should go through immune therapy as recommended by researchers. Neutralizing antibodies which include injecting out the plasma from the body of a patient who has previously survived COVID-19, IFN inhibitors, Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors 1 antagonist also called S1P1, and Oxidized Phospholipid inhibitors also known as OxPL inhibitors are some of the treatments to control the Cytokine Storms caused due to COVID-19.
Hopefully, this article has helped you to know about Cytokine Storms and their harmful effects on the human body. This article has also provided several treatments to control the storms to save the people infected by COVID-19.