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Joachim L. Schultze, MD: “We decided that the knowledge that we have in immunology, as well as in genomics and single-cell technology, should be used to understand this new disease.”
What goes on on the cellular level when it comes to COVID-19? To find out, Infection Control Today® reached across the Atlantic Ocean to the University of Bonn in Germany. Joachim L. Schultze, MD, is a professor of genomics and immunoregulation at the Life & Medical Sciences Institute at that university. Schultze is also the coordinator of the German COVID-19 OMICS Initiative, which seeks to integrate biological and science data with social sciences and the humanities. Schultz’s research focuses on understanding the range of severity of COVID-19 symptoms through an analysis of single cells. His latest research appears to indicate that proteins such as TLR3 and IFN I and II may be useful indicators of disease severity and/or an area to explore for possible therapies. His research also seems to indicate that the heterogeneity of COVID-19 may have to do with three factors: the host, the environment, and the virus itself. Schultze seems to have ruled out the virus. In a wide-ranging discussion with ICT®, Schultze also discusses the significance of neutrophils in immune response to COVID-19, the immune system’s role in COVID-19 long-haulers, and how the single-cell analysis that can be useful in the diagnose and treatment of COVID-19, can also be used to diagnose, treat, and potentially prevent other kinds of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.