Immune response and Covid-19
· Specialised white blood cells from the immune system seek out to identify pathogens and destroy them
· When they identify a pathogen, the immune cells need to trigger inflammation to recruit more immune cells.
· The immune response depends on effective co-operation between immune cells.
· Immune cells communicate via the release of small signalling molecules called cytokines.
· Once released, the cytokines trigger localised inflammation as a physiological response by the body that aims to destroy the pathogen.
· Signs of inflammation include redness, swelling, pain and elevated temperature.
· In extreme circumstances a cytokine positive feed-back loop is created as a means of protecting the body. This sends out a message to the immune system that there is mass inflammation within the body and the immune system must respond in a radical manner to reduce the inflammation.