Oncimmune Holdings plc (LON:ONC), the leading global immunodiagnostics group, has announced the publication of a paper entitled: “Paradoxical sex-specific patterns of autoantibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection” 1 arising from the research collaboration between Oncimmune and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles (“Cedars-Sinai”). The paper focuses on the sex-specific autoimmune reactivity to SARS-CoV-2 following mildly symptomatic infection as well as the prolonged effects of COVID-19 well beyond the initial infection and recovery phase.
This collaborative study focused on gaining an understanding of how COVID-19 infection affects a person’s immune system in ways that might persist over time. The research discovered that COVID-19 can trigger a broad autoantibody response that can last well beyond the initial infection and recovery phase, even among individuals who were only mildly affected or without any symptoms at all.
The research team used Oncimmune’s COVID-19 autoantibody profiling panel, an advanced panel of serological measures to understand which parts of the adaptive immune system are still activated for up to six months following full apparent recovery from the initial COVID-19 infection. The results showed that a wide array of autoantibodies remain elevated, including those linked to autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The study, published in the Journal of Translational Medicine, suggests that COVID-19 infection leads to a persistent activation of antibodies against multiple different organ systems and tissues, many of which have been linked to classic autoimmune diseases that typically affect women more than men. In this research, however, men were more affected than women. This latest study is the first to report both the presence of elevated autoantibodies after mild or asymptomatic infection and their persistence over time.
Dr Adam M Hill, CEO of Oncimmune said: “As the life science industry continues to work intensely to research and respond to the effects of COVID-19, and specifically to understand the immune system response to the disease, we are delighted to see this publication that further validates the ImmunoINSIGHTS Infectious Diseases panel and contributes to the knowledge base so that clinical outcomes from the disease can improve.”