The Chairman for the Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at the Medical Faculty of Heinrich Heiner University- Duesseldorf, Germany, Prof. Dr James Adjaye is conducting a study into how Coronivurs affects human cells.
According to him, the study is to unravel how the virus spreads in the human body.
Prof. Adjaye who is also a molecular embryologist explained that the research will help scientists come up with vaccines to fight the disease.
Speaking in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, Prof. Adjaye explained that when the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) causing virus – SARS-CoV-2 finds its way into the human body, it causes damage to the lungs and other organs such as the kidney.
He said the virus has structures poking out of the cell surface adding that these are the spike proteins which are essential for enabling the virus to enter lung cells.
The spike protein Prof. Adjaye said also needs the help of another protein called TMPRSS2 to bring it to the lung cell surface.
He noted that the spike protein then can attach itself to a protein called ACE2 adding that this then pushes the virus into the lungs.
Once inside the lungs the virus reproduces itself and makes more viruses which then cause damage to the lungs and also the kidneys.
The Molecular Biologist on the Citi Breakfast Show noted that several efforts are underway to make harmless but effective vaccines to help stop the virus from attaching itself to the ACE2 protein and therefore stopping viral entry.
Prof. Adjaye’s current research on COVID-19 is to understand the process whereby the virus enters the human kidney cells.
He has developed a method to get kidney cells from human urine. The results of his research will also help in generating effective medications and vaccines to fight COVID-19.
“My interest is trying to understand when the virus gets into the cell, which events take place until one gets the disease. In summary, like any other virus, it goes into the cell, in the body, we have the immune activation. So if you have a strong immune system you will be able to fight the virus in a way and hopefully, you will survive. That is why they say that we should have immune boosters. The immune boosters help to slow down the virus from replicating itself.”
There is currently no vaccine for fighting COVID-19 which has infected over five million people across the globe.
Coronavirus cases in Ghana as of May 21, 2020 stand at 6,269 cases, 1,898 recoveries and 31 deaths.
Click below to listen to the full interview on the Citi Breakfast Show: