MicroRNA- Why old age make it more difficult to fight COVID-19
A group of tiny RNA — that is supposed to attack the SARS-CoV-2 when it infects human bodies — diminishes with age and in people with chronic health problems, which may explain why older individuals and those with pre-existing health conditions are more vulnerable to Covid-19.
MicroRNAs play a big role in controlling gene expression, and are a frontline defence when viruses invade.
According to a study published in Aging and Disease, the microRNA numbers dwindle with age and under chronic medical conditions, which reduces a person’s ability to respond to viruses.
The team from Augusta University had looked at the RNA sequence of two coronaviruses — SARS, which surfaced in 2002, and SARS-CoV-2.
They also looked at the sequence of microRNAs that appeared to be attacking these viruses, then used computer simulation to figure out the results.
They found 873 microRNAs that target the SARS-CoV-2 genome. These microRNAs were associated with more than 72 biological processes — from the production of molecules to immune response.