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Current Affairs

Women protected by protein that lets Coronavirus in

Date: 20 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The human enzyme ACE2, which enables the novel coronavirus to infect the cell, is also key in protecting against cardiovascular, lung and kidney diseases.

 

Background

The research has looked at why female COVID-19 patients face less severe disease complications and a lower risk of dying than male patients.

 

Details

  • They found that it is thanks to hormones and chromosomes that contribute to a stronger immune response that women patients face less complication from disease.  The highlight of the study is how the sex differences in Covid-19 are linked to ACE2.

  • Because of their chromosomes, women have two copies of the ACE2 gene and men have only one copy. This does not seem to make women more susceptible to Covid-19 infection but it rather protects them from the complications associated with the virus.

  • ACE2 is a gene linked to the X chromosome. And women have twice as many active genetic instructions to make ACE2.

  • Research is going on to understand how manipulating ACE2 levels might help Covid-19 patients, to prevent infection by blocking the enzyme, or to protect the body by enhancing it.

Long term effects of Covid-19

More serious long-term complications appear to be less common but have been reported. These include:

  • Cardiovascular: inflammation of the heart muscle

  • Respiratory: lung function abnormalities

  • Renal: acute kidney injury

  • Dermatologic: rash, hair loss

  • Neurological: smell and taste problems, sleep issues, difficulty with concentration, memory problems

  • Psychiatric: depression, anxiety, changes in mood