Amali Samarasinghe, PhD

Amali Samarasinghe, PhD

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Research Project:
Can Eosinophils Help Immune System Defend Against SARS-CoV-2?

Grant Awarded:

  • COVID-19 Respiratory Virus Research Award

Research Topics:

  • basic biologic mechanisms
  • immunology immunotherapy

Research Disease:

  • COVID-19

Eosinophils are immune cells that have been considered essential during parasite infections. However, discoveries made in the past two decades emphasized that eosinophil functions are complex and important during respiratory virus infections. We have shown that eosinophils are potent fighters against influenza A virus infection and, together with known responses against other viruses, there is a high likelihood that eosinophils have antiviral properties against SARS-CoV-2. Observations in patients from around the world indicate that eosinophil loss occurs in severe COVID-19 and that the replenishment of eosinophils correlates with patient recovery. Our goal is to investigate whether eosinophils are important to host defense strategies against SARS-CoV-2, including variant strains. 

Page last updated: November 17, 2022

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