Autoantibodies May Be The Driver Behind Severe Covid-19 Reactions

While vaccine distribution and President Biden’s inauguration occupied most of the media’s attention, January marked the peaks of hospitalization and deaths among Covid-19 patients in the United States. Over 130,000 were in the hospital with severe Covid-19 symptoms in the past two weeks. Emerging evidence suggests one cause of severe Covid-19 reaction may be autoantibodies or antibodies that attack the body and not an invading pathogen. What do we know about autoantibodies, and how can our understanding of them inform Covid-19 research moving forward?

A recent study out of NYU analyzed the sera of 86 hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Researchers were on the hunt for autoantibodies, self-attacking proteins mistakenly turn on the body in their attempt to root out pathogens. It is unknown how many people have these antibodies present in their immune systems, though ongoing research is looking into the matter. The NYU researchers hoped their presence could provide some clarity on why some patients get so sick from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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© William A. Haseltine, PhD. All Rights Reserved.