In yesterday’s Nature News, Rogue antibodies involved in almost one-fifth of COVID deaths, research is highlighted that finds a correlation between type 1 interferon autoantibodies and critical CoViD-19.
Type 1 interferons are protein molecules in the blood that protect the body from viral infections. Autoantibodies are antibodies that attack the body’s own immune defenses. Generally, older people have more autoantibodies. The highlighted research found that 13.6% of individuals with critical CoViD-19, defined as admitted to the ICU, and 18% of people who died with CoViD-19, possessed type 1 interferon autoantibodies. In the general population, 0.4% of healthy people have autoantibodies and this varies with age, with 0.18% of those 18 to 69 having type 1 interferon autoantibodies, 1.1% of 70-79 year olds, and 3.4% of 80+ year olds. The research team suspects that the severity of other diseases besides CoViD-19 is worsened by type 1 interferon autoantibodies.