A variety of therapies for COVID-19 are aimed at inhibiting the harmful consequences of a cytokine storm, defined as an exaggerated and out-of-control immune response. Cytokine storms assume that immune responses are often dysregulated and maladaptive, causing more harm than good. Several drugs are proposed to inhibit the cytokine storm in COVID-19, but will these drugs work?
Join us for a conversation with Joe Alcock, emergency physician and professor in the University of New Mexico Department of Emergency Medicine. He will discuss the evidence for immunomodulatory drugs for infection (reviewed here: https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7090247) and consider the concept of a cytokine storm in light of evolutionary medicine. Several evolutionary medicine concepts - the smoke detector principle, immune brinksmanship, mismatch, and cliff-edge effects may explain seemingly excessive immune responses. On the other hand, host-pathogen arms races may result in immune systems that are resistant to medical improvement.