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COVID-19 infection, whether the symptoms are mild or asymptomatic, can trigger self-attacking antibodies and can also persist over time, a new study revealed. 

The research has been published in the 'Journal of Translational Medicine'.

When people are infected with a virus or other pathogen, their bodies unleash proteins called antibodies that detect foreign substances and keep them from invading cells. In some cases, however, people produce autoantibodies that can attack the body's own organs and tissues over time.

eople with prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have a wide variety of autoantibodies up to six months after they have fully recovered, the investigators found. 

 Researchers, prior to this study, were aware of the fact that severe cases of COVID-19 can stress the immune system so much that autoantibodies are produced. This study is the first to report not only the presence of elevated autoantibodies after mild or asymptomatic infection but their persistence over time.

"These findings help to explain what makes COVID-19 an especially unique disease," said Justyna Fert-Bober, PhD, a research scientist in the Department of Cardiology at the Smidt Heart Institute and co-senior author of the study.

"These patterns of immune dysregulation could be underlying the different types of persistent symptoms we see in people who go on to develop the condition now referred to as long COVID-19," Fert-Bober added.

 

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