There has been a troubling report published in The South China Morning Post with findings from researchers studying the Wuhan Coronavirus.

A team of researchers from Shanghai and New York claims that COVID-19 could kill the immune cells that regularly kill the viruses, similar to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). HIV infection leads to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

These findings coincide with frontline doctors’ observation that COVID-19 could attack the human immune system and cause damage similar to that found in HIV patients.

Lu Lu, from Fudan University in Shanghai, and Jang Shibo, from the New York Blood Centre, joined the living virus, which is officially known as Sars-CoV-2, to laboratory-grown T lymphocyte cell lines.

T lymphocytes, also known as T cells, play a central role in identifying and eliminating alien invaders in the body.

They do this by capturing a cell infected by a virus, boring a hole in its membrane and injecting toxic chemicals into the cell. These chemicals then kill both the virus and infected cell and tear them to pieces.

To the surprise of the scientists, the T cell became a prey to the coronavirus in their experiment. They found a unique structure in the virus’ spike protein that apparently triggered the fusion of a viral envelope and cell membrane when they came into contact.

The virus’s genes then entered the T cell and took it hostage, disabling its function of protecting humans.

Interestingly, the team also indicates that the researchers did the same experiment with a virus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The SARS virus could not infect T cells. The findings will be published in the peer-reviewed journal Cellular & Molecular Immunology this week.

I recently became concerned that the blood cells, either white or red, might be a target organ for the Wuhan Coronavirus when I came across a publication from a team of Chinese researchers that included several from Wuhan. The topic was the relationship between the ABO Blood Groups and the susceptibility to the virus.

The results showed that blood group A was associated with a higher risk for acquiring COVID-19 compared with non-A blood groups, whereas blood group O was associated with a lower risk for the infection compared with non-O blood groups.

This is the first observation of an association between the ABO blood type and COVID-19. It should be emphasized, however, that this is an early study with limitations. It would be premature to use this study to guide clinical practice at this time, but it should encourage further investigation of the relationship between the ABO blood group and the COVID-19 susceptibility.

Of course, with the new Beijing-mandated review and required approval before Chinese researchers can publish the origins of the coronavirus, further information may have to wait until foreign research teams to investigate.

I have been following the science-based articles on the novel coronavirus closely. One trend I found is that anybody who postulates that the pathogen is from a lab is painted as a “conspiracy theorist.” However, based on the information data, this hypothesis is reasonable…and the British government is weighing the possibility seriously.

Ministers fear that the coronavirus pandemic might have been caused by a leak from a Chinese laboratory, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Senior Government sources say that while ‘the balance of scientific advice’ is still that the deadly virus was first transmitted to humans from a live animal market in Wuhan, a leak from a laboratory in the Chinese city is ‘no longer being discounted’.

One member of Cobra, the emergency committee led by Boris Johnson, said last night that while the latest intelligence did not dispute the virus was ‘zoonotic’ – originating in animals – it did not rule out that the virus first spread to humans after leaking from a Wuhan laboratory.

The member of Cobra, which receives detailed classified briefings from the security services, said: ‘There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus. Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.’

Wuhan is home to the Institute of Virology, the most advanced laboratory of its type on the Chinese mainland.

The more Chinese government officials try to hide the origins of the coronavirus, the more likely it is that they have something significant to hide.

It will be only a matter of time before other scientists unlock the secrets of this pathogen, as it certainly will be the subject of a significant amount of new research.

 

 
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