Connecting the Dots in Emerging Mast Cell Research: Do Factors Affecting Mast Cell Activation Provide a Missing Link between Adverse COVID-19 Outcomes and the Social Determinants of Health?

Rachel da Silveira Gorman, Iffath Unissa Syed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence continues to emerge that the social determinants of health play a role in adverse outcomes related to COVID-19, including increased morbidity and mortality, increased risk of long COVID, and vaccine adverse effects. Therefore, a more nuanced understanding of the biochemical and cellular pathways of illnesses commonly associated with adverse social determinants of health is urgently needed. We contend that a commitment to understanding adverse outcomes in historically marginalized communities will increase community-level confidence in public health measures. Here, we synthesize emerging literature on mast cell disease, and the role of mast cells in chronic illness, alongside emerging research on mechanisms of COVID illness and vaccines. We propose that a focus on aberrant and/or hyperactive mast cell behavior associated with chronic underlying health conditions can elucidate adverse COVID-related outcomes and contribute to the pandemic recovery. Standards of care for mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), as well as clinical reviews, experimental research, and case reports, suggest that effective and cost-efficient remedies are available, including antihistamines, vitamin C, and quercetin, among others. Primary care physicians, specialists, and public health workers should consider new and emerging evidence from the biomedical literature in tackling COVID-19. Specialists and researchers note that MCAS is likely grossly under-diagnosed; therefore, public health agencies and policy makers should urgently attend to community-based experiences of adverse COVID outcomes. It is essential that we extract and examine experiential evidence of marginalized communities from the broader political-ideological discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMedical sciences (Basel, Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 28 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine

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