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Research Finds an Enzyme Similar to Rattlesnake Venom Plays Role in COVID-19 Mortality
High levels of a specific enzyme—secreted phospholipase A2 group IIA (sPLA2-IIA)—have been found in those who have died due to COVID-19, according to researchers from the University of Arizona, Wake Forest University, and Stony Brook University. The enzyme, which has similar properties as rattlesnake venom, is known for its ability to destroy viral and bacterial cell membranes. Among patients severely ill with COVID-19, the body’s regulatory system that keeps sPLA2-IIA in check goes awry, and the enzyme begins attacking healthy cells, tissues, and organs. With this knowledge, the researchers are working on an inhibitor to sPLA2-IIA using ongoing trials conducted with rattlesnake venom to speed up the process. Click here to read more.