A Hypothesis for the Possible Role of Zinc in the Immunological Pathways Related to COVID-19 Infection

Important review (free PDF available) published in Front. Immunol., 10 July 2020

Key Points

• Zinc deficiency may be common and associated with severe infection.

• Zinc helps to enhance the interferon type 1 response to the virus and participates in many regulatory pathways.

• Low levels of zinc have been associated with higher IL-6 responses.

• IL-6 plays an important role in severe lung injury due to COVID-19 infection.

• Zinc inhibits SARS-CoV RNA polymerase, and thus its replication capacity.

• Zinc may increase the efficacy of antimalarial agents, since they are zinc ionophores.

• Differences in mortality due to COVID-19 infection may be explained to some degree by−174 IL-6 gene polymorphism.

Giovambattista Scarfone

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