Rogue antibodies could be driving severe COVID-19

Evidence is growing that self-attacking ‘autoantibodies’ could be the key to understanding some of the worst cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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I have this gut feeling that a good proportion of healthy, young people who wind up on ventilators after getting Covid-19 have these suspected autoantibodies.

Seeing this and other findings, how can anyone not love science.

Thanks for sharing. Yes, the idea that infection could induce deleterious autoantibodies makes a lot of sense and would be important for understanding longterm symptoms and inform treatment options.

What is interesting to think about is that one of the objections that some people have to vaccines is the claim that vaccines could cause autoimmunity and chronic illness. To make that case, people bring up the narcolepsy and discontinued H1N1 vaccine example (cited in that article) as well as the flu vaccine and Guillain-Barré Syndrome example. However, the counter argument to that is that infection causes autoimmunity much more frequently than vaccines do. Getting the flu itself causes Guillain-Barré Syndrome 17x more frequently than the flu vaccine does. With that information, you could make the case that vaccines actually protect against autoimmunity.


Exactly. There are also the number of proteins involved. With the vaccine you are only being exposed to one of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins, but if you suffer from an infection then you are exposed to all 26 proteins from the viral genome. That’s 25 more antigens that could produce an autoimmune reaction. Of course, you could still have a low level asymptomatic infection after getting the vaccine, so that point may be moot. Nonetheless, if you don’t get the vaccine you are probably going to be infected at some point, so you will be making antibodies against the spike protein whether you like it or not.


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