Arizona university research

Why do some people die from COVID_19, others don’t?

Patient of COVID_19

Patient of COVID_19

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Why do some people succumb to COVID-19 while others do not? It's a question that's been plaguing us throughout the outbreak.

We're getting closer to an answer thanks to new research from the University of Arizona.

According to Floyd Chilton, Professor and Director of the University of Arizona's Precision Nutrition and Wellness initiative, it appears to boil down to an enzyme found in rattlesnake venom.



Let's start from the beginning before we get into the snake stuff.

"A year and a half ago, we shifted a lot of my research in my lab to COVID," Chilton said. Since then, he's been hard at work.

Chilton stated that he obtained blood samples from approximately 130 patients in a New York intensive care unit.

They either didn't have COVID-19 or had a mild, moderate, or severe case.

In his lab, he used high-tech artificial intelligence to find two distinct patterns in the samples of persons dying from the virus.


He subsequently went in search of the enzyme, claiming to have discovered the largest concentration of it ever found in humans.

"We were all of a sudden saying, "Wow, this enzyme breaks down, destroys membranes in bacteria." It's attempting to aid us, to protect us from viruses, but these levels, combined with the fact that our internal organs are in such horrible state, entail multiple organ failure and death."

"Could this explain why some persons who appear to be in good health and have no known underlying medical issues succumb to COVID-19?" Jess Winters of Team 12 posed the question.

"It's possible, Jess," says the narrator.


So, where do the rattlesnakes come into play?

"Well so this enzyme is a humanized version, part of the same family as the active ingredient in snake venom so this enzyme has been around a hundred million years."

In simple terms, this enzyme related to snake venom that’s been found in humans is likely causing tremendous damage leading to COVID-19 deaths.

"Humans picked it up and keep it because it helps protect them against bacterial and viral infections because it does what snake venom does, it shreds the membranes of those bacteria and those viruses but once it gets to this level, and we don’t know why it does, the organs begin to lose their ability to hold their membranes together." 


Chilton said he tested 154 more blood samples that came out of Banner Tucson and New York to support this research.