Health

Do Women Show a Better Immune Response to the Coronavirus than Men?

immune response
Image-Tmaximumge via pxhere

A new study by researchers from Yale University published in the journal Nature suggests that men are more likely to suffer severely or die from the coronavirus than women. The researchers analyzed nasal swabs, urine, stool specimens, blood samples and saliva from 98 adult covid19 patients admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital between March and May and concluded that women have a robust immune response which did not decrease with age as in men.

Across the world, men account for around 60% of coronavirus deaths, and individual countries have shown similar results. Researchers in the UK studied 17 million adults and found that women are half times as likely to die from coronavirus than men. Moreover, data from China suggests that at least 67% of coronavirus deaths were of men. However, the reason why the covid19 immune response in men is worse than women is still unclear.

Also Read: WHO Declares Africa Free of Wild Poliovirus

Professor of immunology at the University of Yale Dr. Akiko Iwasaki said in a statement that there is clear data available now that suggests that the immune response in coronavirus is considerably different between the two genders and these differences suggest that men are more susceptible to the virus. She further added that different strategies will be needed to ensure that the vaccines and treatment are effective for both men and women.

Researchers observed that the T cell response was more robust in female patients as compared to males, importantly the T cell response was negatively and significantly correlated with patients’ age in male but not in female patients. T cells protect the body from infection and are an important part of the immune system. Moreover, women have stronger and faster immune responses than men, perhaps because their bodies have the capability to fight pathogens that threaten newborn or unborn children.

The researchers also found that in the early stages of the virus male patients had more cytokines than female patients. Cytokines are used by the immune system as the first line of defense, it arrives at the site of infection and creates inflammation which acts as a physical barrier against the disease and promotes healing. However, in coronavirus patients, these proteins cause a dangerous overreaction called cytokine storm, which occurs when the body fights the virus but also attacks its own tissues and cells.

The researchers believe that different types of vaccines may be needed for men and women. This data suggests that therapies and vaccines to elevate T cell immune response to Covid19 might be warranted for male patients while female patients might benefit from that dampen innate immune activation early during disease, according to the authors.

Moreover, the researchers found that in the early stages of the virus male patients had more cytokines than female patients. Cytokines are used by the immune system as the first line of defense, it arrives at the site of infection and creates inflammation which acts as a physical barrier against the disease and promotes healing. However, in coronavirus patients, these proteins cause a dangerous overreaction called cytokine storm, which occurs when the body fights the virus but also attacks its own tissues and cells.

Professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Edinburg in UK Eleanor Riley believes that the study is observational, the number of patients is low, and the underlying hypothesis is very broad, so it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions at this time.

About the author

Yasir Iqbal

Yasir Iqbal has been working with writing challenged clients for a long time. He provides ghostwriting and ghost editing services. His educational background in journalism has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys writing articles for individuals who are changing careers.

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