US: With the world fighting 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 person’s 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 one’s 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.
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.
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).
– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES