While most people dying from COVID-19 are elderly, up to 5% to 10% of younger adults and children can also be seriously infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Researchers from all over the world have tried to determine why some people become very ill and others are barely affected by COVID-19.
In a recent study, researchers found that people with critical corona-disease may have antibodies blocking the body’s most important defense mechanisms.
They found that people with serious COVID-19 disease have antibodies that are blocking so-called interferons, which are an important part of the body’s defense mechanism.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Bergen and elsewhere.
The team has had long experience with patients suffering from the immune disease APS1.
APS1 is a serious, but rare, immune disease. Patients with APS1 have a high concentration of antibodies against interferones.
If these patients then become infected with COVID-19, their bodies will work against their own immune systems. In addition, this response has also been seen in patients with milder immune diseases.
The team says it is relatively easy to see if young people with COVID-19 have these antibodies in their blood. If so, it might be possible to supply them with extra interferons as treatment.
The new discoveries support other mysterious findings relating to COVID-19.
Deaths and severe COVID-19 are more frequent among men than women. this study has shown that men have more of these antibodies.
Even if it is easy to use blood tests to discover antibodies against interferons, the team does not recommend massive screening in healthy people.
Most people with APS1 are diagnosed in their childhood, and most people with immune failure have been diagnosed already.
The researchers say that immune failure is just a piece in the puzzle when it comes to understanding why young people may die of COVID-19. Old people generally die of more complex causes.
One author of the study is Professor Eystein Husebye at the Department of Clinical Science.
The study is published in Science.
Copyright © 2020 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.