Critically ill Covid-19 patients’ antibodies work against them: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 18, 2020 Published on October 18, 2020

According to a study, coronavirus disease activates antibodies that block interferons. Interferons are a group of proteins that alarm the body during virus invasion.

The study, published in the journal Science, reported that during such condition, the immune system that is meant to safeguard the body, work against it. In addition, this response has also been seen in patients with milder immune diseases.

Study author Eystein Husebye from the University of Bergen, Norway, said in a statement: “Deaths and severe Covid-19 are more frequent among men than women. Our study has shown that men have more of these antibodies.” This also answers why some people become critically ill, while others are barely affected by the novel virus.

“It is relatively easy to see if young people with Covid-19 have these antibodies in their blood. If so, it might be possible to supply them with extra interferons as treatment,” Husebye said.

Husebye conducted the study as he has had long experience with patients suffering from the immune disease APS1. APS1 is a serious, but rare, immune disease. Patients with APS1 have a high concentration of antibodies against interferons.

The authors mentioned that most people with APS1 are diagnosed in their childhood, and most people with immune failure have been diagnosed already. The authors wrote in their research: “Immune failure is just a piece in the puzzle when it comes to understanding why young people may die of Covid-19. Old people generally die of more complex causes.”

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Published on October 18, 2020
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