‘How Smoking Worsens COVID-19 Infection Decoded’: Scientists

‘How Smoking Worsens COVID-19 Infection Decoded’: Scientists

According to the researchers, smoking cigarettes facilitates more severe lung infection by the novel coronavirus
Coronavirus Outbreak, News
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'How Smoking Worsens COVID-19 Infection Decoded': ScientistsThe airways, which carry air breathed in from the nose and mouth to the lungs, are the body's first line of defense against airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and smoke, the scientists said
Highlights
  • Smoking may have resulted in more severe COVID-19 infection: Researchers
  • Smoking reduces body's natural defenses against viruses: Expert
  • Smoking negatively affect the immune system, says the new study

Los Angeles: Using lab-grown lung tissue, scientists have pinpointed how smoking cigarettes facilitates more severe lung infection by the novel coronavirus, an advance that may lead to new therapeutic strategies to help reduce smokers’ chances of developing severe COVID-19. According to the researchers, including those from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US, the findings also shed more light on the COVID-19 risks for smokers. While several studies of COVID-19 patients have indicated that current smokers are at increased risk of severe infection and death due to the coronavirus infection, they said the reasons have not been entirely clear.

Also Read: Air Pollution And COVID-19: Is It About Time To Shift From Cloth Mask To Pollution Safe N95 Or N99 Mask?

In the current research, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, the scientists recreated what happens when the airways of a current smoker are infected with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The researchers utilised a platform known as an air-liquid interface culture, which is grown from unspecialised cells called human airway stem cells, and closely replicated how these behave and function in humans.

The airways, which carry air breathed in from the nose and mouth to the lungs, are the body’s first line of defense against airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and smoke, the scientists said.

Our model replicates the upper part of the airways, which is the first place the virus hits. This is the part that produces mucus to trap viruses, bacteria and toxins and contains cells with finger-like projections that beat that mucus up and out of the body, said Brigitte Gomperts, a co-author of the study from UCLA.

Since these stem cells were taken from the lungs of healthy, non-smoking tissue donors, the researchers replicated the effects of smoking by exposing the airway cultures to cigarette smoke for three minutes per day over four days.

Also Read: Spell Of Heavy Smog In Indian Capital Raises Fears For COVID-19 Patients

This type of model has been used to study lung diseases for over a decade and has been shown to mimic the changes in the airway that you would see in a person who currently smokes, Mr. Gomperts explained.

The researchers then infected the cultures exposed to cigarette smoke — along with identical cultures that had not been exposed — with live SARS-CoV-2 virus and compared the two groups. In the models exposed to smoke, the scientists reported between two and three times more infected cells.

According to the researchers, smoking may have resulted in more severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, at least in part, by blocking the activity of immune system messenger proteins called interferons. They said interferons play a critical role in the body’s early immune response by triggering infected cells to produce proteins to attack the virus, summoning additional support from the immune system, and alerting uninfected cells to prepare to fight the virus.

If you think of the airways like the high walls that protect a castle, smoking cigarettes is like creating holes in these walls. Smoking reduces the natural defenses and that allows the virus to set in, Ms. Gomperts said.

Also Read: US Study Links Air Pollution To Increased COVID-19 Mortality, Indian Experts Say Causal Link Not Established

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,66,15,634Cases
6,33,31,644Active
12,90,85,240Recovered
41,98,750Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.

India

3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190

Kerala

33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128

Karnataka

29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44

22,755

West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14

Delhi

14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70

25,049

Chhattisgarh

10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270

13,520

Odisha

9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65

Rajasthan

9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18

10,513

Haryana

7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3

Bihar

7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3

Telangana

6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3

Punjab

5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4

Assam

5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20

Jharkhand

3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34

5,126

Uttarakhand

3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84

3,520

Goa

1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2

Puducherry

1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49

1,792

Manipur

96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11

Tripura

78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4

Meghalaya

63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14

Chandigarh

61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1

Mizoram

37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1

Nagaland

27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4

Sikkim

26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4

Ladakh

20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3

7,395

129

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