study shows higher interferon help fight sars cov 2 62bc498b81f58

Study shows higher interferon help fight SARS COV 2

At this time the total daily case rates of CVOD 19 continue to go up and if you unfortunately develop COVID please see the blog on 7 suggestions in getting through the infection here.

It was realized early on that children didn’t end up in the hospitals like more adults did in the United States.  In a recent study published in nature biotechnology entitled “Pre-activated antiviral innate immunity in the upper airways controls early SARS-CoV-2 infection in children”, it was found that Children produce more interferon and their immune system is more proactive in viral infections including SARS CoV 2. This study gives insight into the role of interferon and the immune system and can help all of us improve our innate immunity and decrease our chances of getting infected or getting a severe infection that might lead to hospitalization.

Here is a diagram showing the innate immune system on the left versus the adaptive immune system on the right. The innate immune system which includes macrophages and natural killer cells, work together to gather up the viral particles and viruses early in an infection. The innate immune system is usually very strong in young children, and gets weaker with age. Interferon is a product of the innate immune system. Interferon plays a very important role in combating SARS COV 2 infection. Anything that improves interferon will improve the immune response to SARS COV 2.

In the following graph on the left side the black is baseline interferon activity and progressively in each graph on the right is the amount of interferon measured in mild to moderate illness which is higher an appropriately higher response going towards the farthest right with inappropriately lower interferon seen in people with severe or critical SARS COV 2 illness. Therefore, it looks like interferon levels can predict the outcome of COVID-19.

This study looked at the upper respiratory tract cells in children and adults comparing them to children infected with SARS COV2 and children that were not infected with SARS COV 2. It was found children displayed higher basal expression of relevant pattern recognition receptors such as MDA5 (IFIH1) and RIG-I (DDX58) in upper airway epithelial cells, macrophages and dendritic cells, resulting in stronger innate antiviral responses upon SARS-CoV-2 infection than in adults. Children, therefore, have more receptors for the interferon antiviral response for SARS COV-2.  

The study points out the “It has been shown that an early cell-intrinsic innate immune response, mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and the type I and III interferon (IFN) system, is crucial for the successful control of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In line with these observations, recent studies compared adults and children with severe COVID-19 or those presenting to an emergency department and described an impaired IFN response in pediatric COVID-19. However, the molecular mechanisms protecting against COVID-19 in younger age groups, particularly in those with no or only mild/moderate symptoms, remain unknown.”

The researchers also found that since SARS COV2 is produced in large quantities inside cells and has molecules that decrease the interferon response, it can take away the benefit of the early quick response from the innate immune system. In children, however, since their immune system is already “primed” to quickly activate interferon they seem better suited to quickly respond to SARS COV2 using interferon and their innate immune system.

It has been shown that higher interferon results in a more rigorous innate immune response and milder infection with much better outcomes. Therefore , optimizing our immune system for interferon and the innate immune response would be helpful in prevention, early infection, and better outcome from a SARS COV2 exposure or infection.


Optimizing the immune system can include increasing interferon levels raising core body temperature by saunas, exercise, or hydrotherapy. The innate immune system can be optimized by sleep, nutrients, and supplements as discussed here.

If you would like to learn more about optimizing you interferon levels and immunity, purchase AFH supplements and nutrients, or participate in other AFH health programs in regenerative or functional medicine contact us at, find us at to schedule an appointment, or call (925) 736-9828.  We’ve helped many people on their health journey and look forward to helping you. Take care and stay healthy.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.


Our office location in San Ramon is a short drive to the Silicon Valley including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo, San Francisco, Piedmont, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Danville, Alamo, Diablo, Pleasanton, and surrounding areas. Telemedicine/Telehealth services are now available in the comfort of your home so no need to drive across the bay anymore to access your Quadruple Board Certified physician.   We are able to service all 50 states and send test kits and nutraceuticals directly to your home. Call us to find out more about our many services.  925-736-9828



Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Accessibility Toolbar