More than a million people have received their Covid vaccines to develop immunity against one of the deadliest diseases ever, while a few others may have survived self-imposed lockdowns to remain aloof from the clutches of this very pandemic.
It is a human tendency to protect oneself from dangers. The basic example of it has been explained by Charles Darwin, how natural selection plays a greater role in Evolution of Human beings.
According to the fundamental theories of Biology, the genes which have better affinity of competition and survival with the change in surroundings, are preserved and preferred in the genetic information transfer to the next generation.
But when a single body mechanism can select a particular gene over the other, can it also create a genetic make-up in an individual to evade or be resistant to any infection caused by a pandemic virus.
And we ask, can someone by birth be able to resist the infamous Covid-19 virus?
Well, according to a group of International Researchers, there is a complete chance of such people who stand genetically resistant to SARS-CoV-2 and a whole team has initiated a search for such kinds across the globe.
This is being done to find hope of developing new drugs and line of treatments, in the moments of despair when third wave is beginning to inflict greater pain on Humanity.
Alone in the United Kingdom, Omicron has caused more than 1,50,000 deaths so far.
Meanwhile India has recorded nearly 1,68,000 new cases and 277 deaths so far, because of a simple new strain of an old virus.
And these scientists are looking for the same superpower in humans participating in this hunt for a future.
An Immunogeneticist exclaims: “It’s a terrific idea. Really, a wise thing to do.”
They have launched this campaign as a paper in Nature Immunology.
Why this new search and idea can change the way things are moving?
Since this virus has embedded well into our lives and living with the same has become the new normal, eliminating it will never be easy but also, not impossible.
The team speculates that if they are able to identify these kind of genes, if there are any, which are protecting such individuals from potential infection, could result in the development of virus-blocking drugs.
Such line of drugs will not only dare to protect people from COVID-19 or its variants, but also limit the spread of further infection.
Isn’t it overwhelming? How will it be undertaken?
As mentioned in the Nature: “The first step is to narrow the search to people who have been exposed, without protection, to a sick person over an extended period, and have not tested positive or mounted an immune response against the virus.”
“Of particular interest are people who shared a home and bed with an infected partner — pairs known as discordant couples.”
But the idea is as difficult as it seems: “The question is how to find those people. It’s very challenging. This is not for the faint of heart.”
If there exists this trait in a portion of Humankind, finding one and verifying the same will not be easy. In addition, the success of this research Is not completely guaranteed.
But one of the study authors is really hopeful by saying: “Even if we identify one, it will be really major”.
And with greater strides in progress, nearly 10 Co-authors of the study have recruited nearly 500 potential candidates already from a string of countries including India.
The Co-author explains: “I did not think for one second that people themselves, exposed and apparently not infected, would contact us. The goal is to have 1000 recruits.”
Once the participants are final, their respective genomes will be screened by Researchers and compared with those of people infected.
And the contender genes will be looked for, in cell and animal models to confirm any link to resistance.
But the challenge lies in proving these candidates were earlier exposed to the virus from previous Covid infections and with vaccinations in place, there will be difficulty in unmasking any possible genetic resistance to the virus.
Are we sure we can find these lucky ones?
Human body, is a mystery in itself. It can weave wonders.
There might simply be people with powerful immune responses, or people with greater resistance in cells lining inside the nose or maybe some people with mutations to have possibly ramped up their genes stopping the virus from replicating or producing new versions.
“We are confident that we will find them,” explains the author.
World is full of possibilities and so are we, a miraculous creature on the planet that can do anything: destroy the planet it sources its life from or endeavor to save the complete humanity from something unseen ahead.