Most young people do not suffer much from a corona infection. But some become critically ill without having any weaknesses or illnesses before.
It seems that these young people have genetic unlucky, say two studies in the Lancet.
“It is no coincidence that someone who is healthy and who has only just run a marathon, so to speak, can end up in intensive care with Covid-19”, says Fil Deal Haerynck, professor of immunology (UZ Gent / UGent). The newspapaer. “For 14 percent of the patients who were previously perfectly healthy, we were able to demonstrate that there is a problem with their immune system. They have a shortage of a substance that is crucial in the defense against the sars-CoV-2 virus. ”
In addition to the specific autoantibodies, the researchers found another explanation for a critical course of a Covid-19 infection in healthy patients: their genes. Genetic analyzes were performed for almost 2,000 patients. Again, patients were examined who were admitted to hospital with life-threatening Covid-19 (and who may or may not die there), but who had no known medical problems before. Their genes were compared with patients who were infected with sars-CoV-2, but had little or no problems with it. In that critically ill group, 3.5 percent was found to have a genetic defect, particularly in one of the thirteen genes that are known to play a role in the production of the type I interferons.
It is also quite remarkable that most of them are men. “We suspect that the production of these faulty antibodies is linked to the X chromosome,” says Haerynck. “But more research is needed for that.”
Bron (nen): The morning