New research reveals why women get severe Covid 19 at about half the rate as Men.Women have a certain type of immune Cells that fights infections in mucosal tissue, and these immune amass in the lungs, poised to attack the COVID virus.Daniel Saban, an associate professor in the ophthalmology department and the immunology department at Duke University said that women are armed with these specialized immune Cells, they appear to be more equipped to fight some of the most severe impacts of COVID-19, notably the respiratory infections that can become life-threatening.
In the beginning, researchers did not start with a hypothesis. It was a completely unbiased approach, where we asked our colleagues to provide blood and tissue samples from patients as well as healthy people. They didn’t have any idea what they would find.The researchers saw that a white blood Cells called mucosal-associated invariant T Cells, or MAIT , circulated more abundantly in the blood from healthy women compared to healthy men. mucosal-associated invariant T Cells are highly specialized white blood that contribute to immune defences in mucosal organs and tissues.
Among COVID patients, however, few mucosal-associated invariant T Cells were circulating in the blood, even among women, where the population of MAIT cells radically fell off, leading the researchers to question where these had gone. They found their answer in tissue samples from the lungs of patients. Overall, MAIT cells were abundant in the lung tissue of people with COVID, but upon closer inspection, they found night-and-day differences between the sexes.