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Women shows better immune response against covid-19 than men, says study

Published on:26 August 2020, 18:03pm IST
Looks like women are better equipped to beat coronavirus than men, as study finds that T-cells in women are more robust.
Team Health Shots
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Your gender has a lot to do with your ability to fight off covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Another covid-19 update is out and this time it is comparing men and women’s immune systems. And it looks like the women’s immune system has won the battle  because according to this study we have more robust T-cells than men. 

But what are T cells?
T cell, also called T lymphocyte, is a type of leukocyte or white blood cell. These cells are responsible for stronger immunity. A person with strong T cells has robust immunity and can fight better against any disease. 

According to this research, published in the journal Nature, women with covid-19 have a more robust and sustained immune response via the body’s T cells than men.

The study assessed 98 patients—aged 18 years or over—admitted to the Yale New Haven Hospital in the US with mild to moderate disease, who had confirmed positive tests for novel coronavirus infection.

covid-19 and women
Battle against coronavirus is still on but looks like women white blood cells can fight it better. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While previous research had shown that the severity of coronavirus tends to be higher for men than for women, the underlying reasons for this discrepancy have remained unclear.

This is why women have better chances of beating SARS-CoV-2
The researchers noted that T cells play an essential part in the immune system, including the killing of infected cells.

According to the scientists, poor T cell responses correlated with a worse disease outcome in male patients.

“We found that a poor T cell response negatively correlated with patients’ age, and was associated with worse disease outcome in male patients, but not in female patients,” the researchers wrote in the study.

Compared with healthy control individuals, they said patients with covid-19 were found to have elevated levels of innate immune cytokines and chemokines, which are signalling molecules involved in the recruitment of immune cells to sites of inflammation.

However, the study noted that the levels of some of these molecules were higher in male patients than in female patients.

covid-19 and women
We DO have the power to stop covid-19 in its tracks. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In female patients, the scientists said, higher levels of the cytokine molecules were associated with a worse disease response.

Based on the results, they said male patients may benefit from therapies that elevate T cell responses whereas female patients may benefit from therapies that dampen early innate immune responses.

However, the scientists caution that they were unable to rule out other underlying factors that may modify the risk of poor outcome in male and female patients with covid-19. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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