Why does COVID-19 kill some people and spare others – particularly men?


Study finds certain patients – particularly men – have ‘autoantibodies’ that cause immune system proteins to attack the body’s own cells and tissues.

For the study, published in the journal Science, the team looked at nearly 1,000 patients with life-threatening cases of COVID-19. These patients were compared with more than 600 patients who had mild or asymptomatic cases and around 1,200 healthy controls. Results showed nearly 10 percent of those with critical cases had autoantibodies that disable immune system proteins called interferons. Interferons are signaling proteins released by infected cells and are named for their prowess to ‘interfere’ with the virus’s ability to multiply itself. Interferons are signaling proteins released by infected cells and are named for their prowess to ‘interfere’ with the virus’s ability to multiply itself. They are known as ‘call-to-arms’ immune cells because they control viral replication until more immune cells have time to arrive and attack the pathogen. Autoantibodies block interferons and attack the body’s cells, tissues, and organs.

Have any Question or Comment?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *