Scientists have named a new cause of severe coronavirus associated with autoimmunity, writes Nature.
It is noted that experts have identified the role of antibodies – “werewolves” that attack either elements of the body’s immune system or certain proteins in various organs, including the heart.
“Unlike cytokine storms, which are more likely to cause short – term systemic failures, autoantibodies lead to pinpoint but long-term damage,” notes Yale University immunologist Akiko Iwasaki.
Experts examined 194 patients and health care workers with COVID-19 of varying severity for the presence of a wide range of autoantibodies. The study showed that SARS-CoV-2 could cause the production of autoantibodies that attack the body’s own tissues. Some of those infected showed autoantibodies to proteins in the blood vessels, heart, and brain, which are often associated with the effects of the coronavirus.
Scientists intend to find out the mechanism of autoantibody production, which, in their opinion, will help to treat the consequences of not only COVID-19 but also other viral diseases in the future.