Raised temperature inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in respiratory tract tissue
The sweaty misery of a fever is a familiar feeling, and it’s a common symptom of COVID-19 infection. This can feel like a direct consequence of the virus (SARS-CoV-2), but it is an essential part of the body’s protective response to many infections, lighting a fire under various immune system processes and providing an inhospitable environment for the virus. However it wasn’t clear how a change in temperature impacts SARS-CoV-2 in particular, so a study observed infection in respiratory tract tissue incubated at different temperatures. It found that at 37°C (top) the virus (red) took hold, but that at 40°C (bottom) its replication was diminished, and that the temperature change influences regulation of various host immune system responses. Further work will interrogate the mechanism that impacts the virus to inform future treatments, and for now anyone feeling the heat can take comfort knowing that it might help defeat the infection.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.