A new report suggests that COVID-19 patients have increased autoantibodies, resulting in an increased risk of severe early and long COVID-19 symptoms. Autoantibodies represent a misdirection of our natural immune response towards “self” tissue.
Researchers from Yale School of Medicine tested 194 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients for autoantibodies and found a dramatic increase in autoimmune reactivity compared to those without COVID-19. This was targeted at immune-regulating proteins, such as cytokines, chemokines, complement components, and cell surface proteins – leading to an attack on the body’s own immune system instead of fighting off the virus. In addition, the report suggests this diverse autoantibody response could contribute to long COVID and is also associated with inflammatory markers such as ferritin, CRP, and lactate in COVID-19 patients.