How SARS-CoV-2 Evades And Suppresses The Immune System (Part 4)

What follows is the conclusion of the section of this series written for general audiences. Before this exploration of the immunology of SARS-CoV-2 branches off into more technical detail, I will summarize what we have learned so far using the multilayered analogy of a serial burglar.

Imagine the virus is a burglar not dissimilar to the one Cary Grant plays in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1955 masterpiece To Catch a Thief—a master of slipping in and out of hostile environments undetected. This burglar is so adept at their craft, they can execute a job even at a crowded cocktail soiree.

The first thing the burglar must do upon arriving at the scene is avoid immediate recognition. When he appears at the door, it is as an invited guest, not an intruder—just as SARS-CoV-2, upon entering a human cell, has already changed its exterior so as to evade immune detection.

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Originally published on Forbes (August 17, 2021)

© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.