Immunity to SARS-Cov-2 Lasts Longer in Women According to French Study

Since April 2020, a clinical trial has been underway among hospital staff at University Hospitals in Strasbourg France to try to better understand the immune response to the novel coronavirus. It was published in an online journal for scientific studies.



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Antibodies last several months

The issue of how the immune system reacts with Covid-19 is being discussed by the scientific community. Indeed, it is essential to look into this, especially for the evaluation of the vaccine response. The duration of immunity against the coronavirus is not yet known by researchers. In order to try to understand how this immune response develops, a team of French researchers conducted a study in collaboration with other research organizations, including the Institut Pasteur. It traced 308 hospital staff who developed mild Covid-19 disease. Blood samples were taken from patients at several intervals up to 6 months after the onset of symptoms. The team then measured the presence of antibodies to SARS-Cov-2 directed against spike protein (S) and its nucleocapsid (N). The Spikes are the key elements that allow the virus to enter the cells.

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Gender-specific differences

One month after the onset of symptoms, measurements showed that men older than 50 and those with a body mass index higher than 25 had higher antibody levels. Between 3 and 6 months, antibodies were still present in 99% and 84% of these individuals, respectively. Researchers also found that antibody levels in men decreased more rapidly than in women during this period, regardless of BMI which suggests that immunity lasts longer in women than in men.

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Longer duration of immunity in women than in men, the hypotheses advanced by scientists

The scientists explained that this difference between how the sexes react to the coronavirus could be related to genetics, especially the sex chromosomes. The X chromosome plays a predominant role in immunity because it has genes that are directly linked to it. However, women have two X (XX) chromosomes, while men have only one X (XY) chromosome. Further research is needed and the study has not yet been peer-reviewed. However, several scientific studies have already shown that Covid-19 can manifest itself more strongly in men than in women.


Sex differences in the decline of neutralizing antibodies to SARS-CoV-2

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  1. Avatar photo James Luden Lindsay


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