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Cuban research firm BioCubaFarma has announced several projects it is working on to ai in the fight against COVID-19. As all public health infrastructure is geared toward prevention and treatment of the dangerous virus, BioCubaFarma has begun work in three separate areas to help defeat the coronavirus: building up patients’ innate immunity, preventing the spread of the virus inside the patient’s body once the infection becomes active, and, for patients with advanced cases, stopping the extreme immune response that contributes to the development of pneumonia – a significant cause of death among people infected with COVID19. 

Building Innate Immunity

The term “innate immunity” refers to the body’s natural ability to fight off invading pathogens like viruses and bacteria using its immune response, even without previous exposure and the ensuing production of antibodies.  Antibodies are proteins produced by B-cells, components of the “adaptive” immune system. Antibodies identify and target specific molecules in viruses that the body has previously encountered. 

When someone succumbs to COVID-19, they must rely on their innate immune system to kill the virus because no immunity exists yet. The researches at BioCubaFarma are working on ways to improve this crucial component of the immune system. 

Reducing Viral Load

Once the coronavirus infects a patient, it begins to reproduce rapidly, hijacking cells to replicate itself and move on to new cells. Preventing or slowing the spread of the virus requires minimizing its ability to take over the “software” in the body for its purposes. BioFarmaCuba focuses on ways to slow the disease’s progression by reducing the amount of virus that is allowed to replicate. 

Minimizing Inflammation

One of the most devastating aspects of COVID-19 is the extreme immune response that some patients exhibit. In the worst cases, the infection triggers a cascading inflammatory activity within the lungs, ultimately leading to death in some cases. 

The virus injures the lining of the lungs. In response, the body rushes inflammatory cells to the location of the damage, prompting swelling. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury from pathogens. The inflammatory material coats the lungs, preventing proper respiration. 

The team at BioCubaFarma hopes to roll out their new technologies to fight COVID-19 shortly.