As the pandemic persists, more information about the SaRS-CoV-2 virus and its effects emerges from labs across the world. Now, a team of researchers from Yale University has found that COVID-19 patients show increased amounts of autoantibodies, antibodies which can attack human tissues and cells. The study, conducted on 194 people diagnosed with COVID-19, used a novel screening tool to determine the proteins that were affected by these autoantibodies.
The discovered that more autoantibodies that target immune-related cells were present in people with COVID-19 compared to uninfected people. Since these autoantibodies interfere with and attack cells involved in the immune response, this can cause people with COVID-19 to have fewer immune cells than people without the disease. This can then lead to longer recovery time for those people, as their immune systems are less able to effectively remove the virus from their bodies.
The study also showed that mice injected with autoantibodies were more susceptible to COVID-19 infection, and this effect may occur in humans who already have these autoantibodies. However, more research on this topic needs to be conducted before conclusions about this effect can be drawn.