Spike Proteins, COVID-19, and Vaccines

A recent study looks at the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, showing that they can cause some of the harm of COVID-19 by themselves. This is an important advance in our understanding of the disease and hopefully will lead to new therapeutic interventions.

The spike protein is what gives the coronavirus family of viruses their name. The spikes jut out from the surface of the spherical virus, giving it a crown-like halo, hence “corona”. We have also known for a long time that the spike protein is the business end of these viruses, it is what gives the virus its ability to target, latch onto, and enter the cells that it infects. Mutations in the spike protein are also what determine different variants of SARS-CoV-2, and can alter its ability to infect and cause harm.

The new study, however, is the first to directly show that the spike proteins themselves are able to cause harm, and also confirms that COVID-19 is primarily a vascular disease that damages blood vessel walls.

What the researchers did was create a pseudovirus – a protein shell with spike proteins but no viral RNA inside. Therefore these pseudoviruses are unable to actually infect cells or replicate. The point was to isolate as much as possible the effects of the spike proteins themselves.

For More Information: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/spike-proteins-covid-19-and-vaccines/

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