A new reportsuggests 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.
Kara Fitzgerald, ND, received her doctor of naturopathic medicine degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first Counsel on Naturopathic Medicine-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, PhD. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Fitzgerald is the lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)’s Textbook for Functional Medicine. With the Helfgott Research Institute, Dr. Fitzgerald is actively engaged in clinical research on the DNA methylome using a diet and lifestyle intervention developed in her practice. The first publication from the study focuses on reversal of biological aging and was published 04-12-2021 in the journal Aging. She has published a consumer book titled Younger You as well as a companion cookbook, Better Broths and Healing Tonics and has an application-based Younger You Program, based on the study.
Dr. Fitzgerald is on the faculty at IFM, is an IFM Certified Practitioner and lectures globally on functional medicine. She runs a Functional Nutrition Residency program, and maintains a podcast series, New Frontiers in Functional Medicine and an active blog on her website, www.drkarafitzgerald.com. Her clinical practice is in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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This is very interesting, thank you for publishing. The headline states that autoantibodies “caused by Covid19” increase risk. What about the presence of autoantibodies caused by pre-existing conditions like Lupus and other autoimmune disorders? Would that potentially suggest the same increased risk? I realize there are no definite answers here–just pondering. Thank you.
To clarify, I believe your question is whether COVID19 posses an increased risk for those with preexisting autoimmune conditions – it’s believed that infection by SARS-CoV2 might aggravate or trigger autoimmune response in those with a history or on the continuum for developing autoimmune disease. Of course, we’re still learning about this novel virus.