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Covid triggers self-attacking antibodies that stay despite full recovery: Study

Covid triggers self-attacking antibodies that stay despite full recovery: Study

With the world fighting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) for two years, a new US study has now revealed that infection - irrespective of being mild or asymptomatic, can trigger self-attacking antibodies and also persist over time. The study, published in the ‘Journal of Translational Medicine showed that individuals with prior infection with the Covid-19 causing virus - SARS-CoV-2, develop a wide variety of autoantibodies - which attack a persons own organs and tissues, up to six months after they have completely recovered. Notably, the researchers of the study knew beforehand that severe cases of Covid-19 can result in stressing ones immune system to the extent that self-attacking antibodies are generated. Therefore, researchers claimed that this latest study is the first to reveal that Covid-19 not only triggers autoantibodies but also a lasting persistence. Also Read | What is Florona, flu plus Corona, first detected in Israel? All you need to know Justyna Fert-Bober, a research scientist at the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute, USA and co-senior author of the study said that the findings throw more light on what makes Covid-19 an especially unique disease. She further stated that the patterns of “immune dysregulation” shown in the study findings could provide a basis for the different types of persistent Covid-19 symptoms in people that eventually lead to the condition known as “long Covid-19.” As many as 177 people with confirmed evidence of previous infection with SARS-CoV-2 were hired for the research by the team. The blood samples of these individuals were then compared with those of healthy people prior to the pandemic. Also Read | Testing positive for Covid-19 mid-flight, US woman is isolated for 5 hours The research team found that all people with confirmed prior Covid-19 infection had elevated levels of autoantibodies (self-attacking antibodies). Some of these autoantibodies were found in people with autoimmune ailments (diseases wherein the immune system attacks its own healthy cells such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus). Susan Cheng, director of the Institute for Research on Healthy Aging in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute and the co-senior author of the study said that the team found signals of autoantibody activity that are typically connected with chronic inflammation and injury “involving specific organ systems and tissues,” including the skin, joints and nervous system. Following the findings, the research team is now willing to expand the study in order to look for the kinds of autoantibodies that may be present and persist in people with lingering Covid-19 symptoms (or long Covid-19). Also Read | Long Covid: Range of symptoms, medical burden Furthermore, as the study was conducted on people infected before the advent of Covid-19 vaccines, the researchers will now examine whether autoantibodies are similarly generated in people with breakthrough infections (infected following vaccination). Cheng pointed out that such detailed understanding of autoantibody responses and how the “SARS-CoV-2 triggers and drives these variable responses” will help in getting closer to finding ways to “treat and even prevent these effects from developing in people at risk.”.

world-news 2022-01-02 hindustantimes