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Immune response study explains why some people don't get COVID-19

Groundbreaking insights into natural COVID-19 resistance reveal subtle innate immune responses and genetic factors that prevent infection.

A Message from Dr. McMillan

This week our focus is on understanding how the unique characteristics of the COVID-19 virus could increase the risk of other conditions, such as streptococcal infections. COVID-19 can weaken the body's natural defenses, particularly the production of interferons, which are proteins that help fight off viruses. Any bacteria (streptococcus, mycoplasma...) that normally triggers interferon (mainly viruses) will have greater risk of causing disease across the population.


Dr. Philip McMillan

In this week’s June 21, 2024 update:

  • Covid-19: Study explains why some people don't get COVID-19

  • Vejon: Video of the week from Vejon Health

  • Parkinson’s Disease: Link between gut microbiota and Parkinson's

  • Infographic: The architecture of immunity

  • Immunology: Childhood flu linked to stronger immune response

  • News: Medical news in brief

  • Book Nook: Publications that may interest you

  • Chat Vejon: Ask our AI Expert relevant medical questions

    Read time: 6 minutes



  • Some individuals immediately cleared SARS-CoV-2 without typical immune responses, showing subtle innate immune responses instead.

  • High activity of the HLA-DQA2 gene before exposure helped prevent sustained infection in some people.

  • Those who developed sustained infection showed rapid blood immune response but slower nasal immune response.

  • Researchers identified common patterns among activated T cell receptors, offering insights for potential targeted therapies.

Why is this Important: Insights into natural COVID-19 resistance reveal subtle innate immune responses and genetic factors that prevent infection. These findings pave the way for developing targeted therapies and vaccines mimicking protective responses, potentially revolutionizing our approach to combating not only COVID-19 but other infectious diseases as well.


  • Researchers found a reduction in gut bacteria genes responsible for synthesizing essential B vitamins B2 and B7 in Parkinson's disease patients.

  • A relationship was identified between the lack of these genes and low levels of agents that maintain intestinal barrier integrity.

  • Deficiencies in polyamines and SCFAs could lead to increased intestinal permeability, exposing nerves to toxins and contributing to alpha-synuclein aggregation.

  • The findings suggest potential therapeutic approaches, including treatment with B vitamins to address these deficiencies in Parkinson's disease patients.

Why is this Important: Groundbreaking research reveals a crucial link between gut microbiota and Parkinson's disease, offering new insights into the condition's progression. By identifying specific bacterial deficiencies and their impact on intestinal integrity, this discovery paves the way for potential therapeutic approaches, including B vitamin treatments, to address underlying causes of the disease.



  • Researchers analyzed serum samples from 1,499 patients over a 91-year period (1917-2008) in the U.S. and Australia.

  • The study found that people had stronger immune responses to flu variants they were exposed to in childhood.

  • Early exposure to flu strains, particularly in the first 5-10 years of life, resulted in higher antibody concentrations later.

  • This finding could lead to new approaches in handling flu outbreaks and understanding early exposure's impact on immunity.

Why is this Important: Childhood flu exposure shapes lifelong immunity patterns, potentially revolutionizing our approach to flu outbreaks and vaccine development. This insight could lead to more targeted vaccination strategies, better outbreak management, and a deeper understanding of how early viral encounters influence long-term immune responses.


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  • Researchers followed over 10,000 people for 6 years, finding that 602 people with less healthy gut flora developed serious infections.

  • Those hospitalized for infections had fewer butyrate-producing bacteria in their microbiome at the start of the study.

  • Butyrate, a small fatty acid, is known to positively impact the immune system in mice.

  • The study suggests that a less healthy gut microbiome may increase the risk of serious infections like pneumonia.

Why is this Important: Groundbreaking research reveals a potential link between gut health and infection risk. The presence of butyrate-producing bacteria in the microbiome may play a crucial role in bolstering immune defenses against serious infections like pneumonia. This discovery opens new avenues for predicting and potentially preventing life-threatening illnesses through microbiome-focused interventions.



🚥 Study finds auto-antibodies may contribute to severe COVID-19 by impairing immune response: Auto-antibodies targeting type 1 interferons may contribute to severe COVID-19 by impairing immune responses. This discovery explains why some patients without apparent risk factors experience severe illness and suggests that individuals with these auto-antibodies could be more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 and other common viruses.

🚥 Walking program significantly reduces recurrence of low back pain: Walking emerges as a powerful, accessible tool for preventing recurrent low back pain. This simple intervention reduces healthcare visits, improves quality of life, and offers a cost-effective solution to a widespread health issue. By integrating walking programs into routine care, healthcare providers could significantly alleviate the global burden of low back pain.

🚥Prostate Drugs May Reduce Risk of Dementia with Lewy Bodies: Research reveals that common prostate medications may offer unexpected neuroprotective benefits. By potentially reducing the risk of dementia with Lewy bodies by 40%, these drugs open new avenues for treating neurodegenerative diseases. This discovery could significantly impact the lives of millions, offering hope for slowing or preventing cognitive decline in aging populations.

🚥 Brazilian Scientists Develop Probiotic Bread That May Prevent Asthma: Probiotic-infused bread offers a groundbreaking approach to asthma prevention. By incorporating Saccharomyces cerevisiae UFMG A-905 into a widely consumed food, researchers have created a potentially accessible and effective method to combat a prevalent respiratory disorder. This innovation could revolutionize asthma management, particularly benefiting those with dairy intolerances who cannot use traditional probiotic products.

🚥Stanford study identifies six distinct types of depression using brain imaging and machine learning: Identifying six distinct depression biotypes through brain imaging and machine learning paves the way for personalized treatment approaches. This breakthrough could significantly improve patient outcomes by enabling more precise medication selection and therapy recommendations, potentially reducing the trial-and-error process that often prolongs suffering for those with depression.

🚥20-year study reveals increasing threat of avian flu to cats and potential risk to humans: Rising avian flu infections in cats pose a significant threat to both feline and human health. The increased cross-species transmission risk, high fatality rate, and potential for cats to become vectors for human infection underscore the urgent need for vigilance, preventive measures, and further research to mitigate this evolving danger.


Set within a child’s nose, ‘Humming Heroes’ features a family of Lymphocytes led by a wise Mother, brave Father, determined Brother, and heroic Baby, confronting invading microorganisms. The story takes an imaginative turn, when a humming melody combines with the Lymphocytes’ song to repel the invaders and restore inner harmony.


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