COVID-19: New energy for flagging immune cells: Immune cells do not receive sufficient suitable energy carriers in infected individuals, a study reveals – Science Daily

by | Jul 28, 2022 | COVID-19

In severe Covid-19 patients, the metabolism produces insufficient amounts of certain energy-rich compounds called ketone bodies. However, these energy carriers are needed by two important cell types in the immune system in order to fight the virus effectively. Perhaps this finding explains why some people fall ill so much more severely than others. A study led by the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn at least points in this direction. The results have now been published in the journal Nature. They also give hope for new therapies.
When we fall ill, we often lose our appetite. This also has an effect on our metabolism: since it is no longer as well supplied with carbohydrates, it switches to burning fat. This creates energy-rich molecules called ketone bodies. And these may help our body to cope better with viruses.
At least that is what the results of the current study suggest. “We found that patients with influenza infections produce ketone bodies in considerable quantities,” explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Wilhelm from the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn, who is also a member of the Immunosensation2 Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn. “In contrast, we saw hardly any increase in Covid-19 patients, at leas …

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