Covid-19 can infect any one, be it young or old, but older men are twice at risk of becoming severely ill and to die as women of the same age. But why is that men are infected hard by the deadly virus? This has now been unravelled in a new study that says that men produce a weaker immune response to the virus than women.
The researchers who published the study in Nature magazine said that this was the first study that looked at immune response. They also noted that men above 60 years of age may need to depend on the vaccine than women to protect themselves.
The researchers note that women might develop faster and even stronger immune responses because their bodies are already prepared to fight pathogens that threaten unborn or newborn children.
Men above 60 years of age may need to depend on the vaccine than women to protect themselves.
However, the researchers say that an immune system in a constant state of high alert could also be harmful. Most autoimmune diseases, which are characterized by strong immune response, are prevalent in women than in men, they added.
They pointed out that the study could help in prescription dosage to older men. May be a single shot of vaccine could be enough for young people or women. But this could not be enough for older men. They might only response after giving two or three vaccine shots.
Immunologist Akiko Iwasaki at Yale University, who led the work, said that they analysed immune responses in 17 men and 22 women who were admitted soon after they were infected with the coronavirus. The patients who were admitted on ventilators and those taking drugs that affect the immune system were excluded from the study. They also analysed another 59 men and women who were out of the criteria.
body of women produce more of T cells
In the study, the researchers say that body of women produce more of T cells, which is known to kill the virus infected cells and stop the spread of the infection. In men the T cells were not that much produced. Older men had a much weaker T cell response.
Dr Iwasaki said that when men age, they lose their ability to stimulate T cells. However, he said that women who are old, even very old still make good immune response.
Though the study has its limitations as it was done only in a small group of people, the researchers said that age was an important factor in Coronavirus outcomes.