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Scientists Trace Severe COVID-19 to Faulty Genes & an Autoimmune Condition

The Rockefeller University

Photo: The Rockefeller University

Rockefeller.edu

More than 10 percent of young and healthy people who develop severe COVID-19 have misguided antibodies that attack not the virus, but the immune system itself, new research shows. Another 3.5 percent, at least, carry a specific kind of genetic mutation.

In both groups, the upshot is basically the same: The patients lack type I interferon, a set of 17 proteins crucial for protecting cells and the body from viruses. Whether the proteins have been neutralized by so-called auto-antibodies, or were not produced in sufficient amounts in the first place due to a ...