There have been reports on a potential therapy of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections by stem cell transplant. This was highlighted in the recent article where a critically ill Chinese patient was saved by stem cell therapy. While this therapy is not a method to eradicate or cure Coronavirus, there is evidence to support the concept that infected patients may be more likely to combat and survive the infection.
First, stem cells resist viral attack by the expression of certain genes known as interferon-gamma stimulated genes (ISGs). These are expressed in stem cells prior to their differentiation. (Wu, X, et al, Cell 172: 423, 2018). Hence, stem cells would be expected to survive even if transplanted into a patient with an active Coronavirus infection. Also, it is known that stem cells rejuvenate and regenerate cells in the body through various processes involving reduction of inflammation, secretion of substances that protect cells, transfer of mitochondria, reduction of cell death, anti-oxidative effects and improvement of immune system function. These effects are likely to increase survival in patients infected with Coronavirus. Also, there is direct evidence of stem cell protection against viral infection.
Besides healing damaged tissues, Kintaro Cells have the unique ability to modulate the immune system so as to shut off pathological responses while preserving its ability to fight off disease. Stem cells and specifically, mesenchymal stem cells home to inflamed tissue and start producing anti-inflammatory agents.
Coronaviruses (CoV) belong to a large family of viruses causing respiratory illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Earlier this year, a new strain of coronavirus was discovered, which has not been previously identified in human beings, also known as a novel coronavirus (nCov). The World Health Organisation announced the disease’s official name on 11th February 2020: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The outbreak began in a Chinese seafood market in the city of Wuhan, which is located in Eastern China and has a population of over 11 million. Since the first reports of COVID-19 cases on December 31, 2019, there has been over 72,000 cases in mainland China, affecting an estimated 760 million people. A further 2,246 cases and 31 deaths have been reported globally.
Symptoms of coronavirus include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. More severe cases of COVID-19 can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and kidney failure. These symptoms can be particularly dangerous for elderly patients or people with existing health conditions.
At Kintaro Cells Power, we are pleased to be positioned to offer stem cell therapy for immune system support against viral infections. While there are several factors related to the possible extent of this global infection, stem cell therapy represents a therapeutic option to fight the virus and increase survival while effective vaccines are being developed.
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