COVID-19: UV rays for the immune system
Various scientific studies have provided evidence that UV radiation could help fight COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A new study now shows that UV-B rays can be helpful in treating corona sufferers.
The number of people infected with corona is constantly increasing. And there are still severe cases of COVID-19 whose optimal treatment is still a matter of research. An Austrian study investigates how exposure to UV-B rays affects the health of patients. The results of the pilot study published in the journal "Experimental Dermatology" encourage optimism.
Balance the immune system
Even more than two years into the pandemic, treating severe cases of COVID-19 in hospital remains a major challenge. Doctors around the world are looking for effective, simple and convenient solutions to give critically ill patients the best possible chance of developing.
"An option that has already proven itself in other diseases with excessive immune reactions is the so-called narrowband UV-B therapy (NB-UV-B, narrowband UV-B)", explains Univ. -Teacher. Dr.med.univ. Peter Wolf of the University Clinic for Dermatology and Venereology of the Medical University (Med Uni) Graz in a statement.
Deaths from COVID-19 disease are often correlated with immune system dysfunction.
“The disrupted immune system is brought back into balance with UVB-Narrowband therapy. The treatment has already proven itself in other diseases such as graft versus host disease (GVHD) or cutaneous cell lymphoma”, explains the doctor.
"In addition, this form of therapy is still at the forefront of technology in the treatment of psoriasis (psoriasis) - especially in exanthematic forms," says Wolf. The study, which has completed its pilot phase, shows that UV-B therapy can aid in the recovery of patients suffering from COVID-19.
Treatment with narrow band UV-B
For the study, 30 patients with severe forms of COVID-19 were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group was treated with narrow-band UV-B, the other received placebo light irradiation.
According to the reports, the treatment took place in addition to the usual medical care, including with anti-viral drugs.
The therapy was carried out with a mobile UV-B device and irradiation of approximately 27% of the body surface area in the patient's bed for a total of eight days. A first analysis threshold was set 28 days after treatment. After this period, it was checked how the disease progressed in the patients of the study.
Probably not directly related to vitamin D
Two people (13.3%) died in the UVB-Narrowband treated group and five (33.3%) in the placebo group.
The exact mechanism of action of UV-B therapy in COVID-19 is still under investigation at the immunological level, but does not appear to be directly related to vitamin D, as Peter Wolf believes based on the results of laboratory evaluated so far.
According to the scientist, the results of the study are perfectly in line with the fact that, according to a meta-analysis, low UV values in the environment and the season are directly correlated with increased morbidity and mortality in patients affected. of COVID-19.
In addition to its effectiveness, the advantage of UVB treatment lies in its safety, its relatively low cost, its ease of use and the possibility of carrying out this therapy in less well-equipped hospitals or poorer regions.
The results of this first phase of the study now serve as the basis for a planned larger-scale study which should provide more precise and definitive data. (ad)
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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Sources:Medical University of Graz: Radiation against COVID-19: UV-B radiation in COVID treatment, (Accessed: July 2, 2022), Medical University of Graz Frank H. Lau, Catherine E. Powell, Giacomo Adonecchi, Denise M. Danos, Andrew R DiNardo, Robert J Chugden, Peter Wolf, Carmen F Castilla: results from the pilot phase of a prospective randomized controlled trial of narrowband ultraviolet B phototherapy in hospitalized COVID-19 patients; in: Experimental Dermatology, (published: 05/31/2022), Experimental Dermatology
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.