This literature review investigated the roles genes activated by social interactions had in helping to build immunity against COVID-19. Past studies have shown that individuals who are more socially connected are less likely to become ill due to social interactions strengthening the immune system through optimal exposure to bacteria and viruses in the environment. The IL-6 and TLR4 genes that are activated through social interactions and associated with cytokines have been analyzed in cases of various viral infections. Cytokines play a role in inflammation and have both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses to infections and viruses. The results suggest that the IL-6 and TLR4 genes are advantageous in various types of infections by viruses such as HSV-1, typhoid fever, meningitis, and influenza, however, the genes are determined to have an adverse role with COVID-19 immunity. From recent studies, it became clear that a pro-inflammatory response called the “cytokine storm” was triggered in individuals who were severely ill due to COVID-19. During the cytokine storm, cytokine genes stimulate an extensive secretion of cytokines that cause the body to attack its own cells and tissues rather than the virus. From the results, the researcher concludes that the TLR4 and IL-6 genes that are activated by social interactions have an instrumental role in many viral infections, but not in COVID-19. It is recommended that further research be conducted to determine how the cytokine storm against COVID-19 can be suppressed.
"The Role of Community in Immunity Against SARS-CoV-2,"
Kean Quest: Vol. 5:
2, Article 2.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.kean.edu/keanquest/vol5/iss2/2