RVC professor contributes to vital research on potential treatment for COVID-19

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Continuing the ongoing and expanding partnership between the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and the Francis Crick Institute, Simon Priestnall, Professor of Veterinary Anatomic Pathology at the RVC, has contributed to a significant new piece of research just published in Science which shows that a protein currently being trialled as a treatment for COVID-19 interferes with the repair of lung tissue.  

The findings have been published alongside research from Harvard Medical School, which found that severe COVID-19 patients showed strong expression of this protein in their lungs. The protein, called interferon lambda, signals to surrounding lung tissue cells to switch on anti-viral defences when a virus is detected in the body.  Working alongside the team from the Crick Institute, Professor Priestnall used his skills in examining the pathology of respiratory viral infections to support the findings that antiviral interferons – such as the protein under investigation – can block repair in damaged lungs. Prof Priestnall, who has researched respiratory coronavirus infections in dogs at the RVC, was able to contribute valuable insights into the project, using first-hand experience from veterinary species. The research concluded that this could prolong lung damage and increase the risk of subsequent bacterial infections.

...follow the link to read the article in full on the RVC website...