Can antibodies attack the body after vaccination against coronavirus? We find an answer to this and other hot questions in the comment of the Russian immunologist Dr. Nikolai Kryuchkov, who cites data from several studies on this topic conducted in different countries of the world.
Several research groups from different countries in the world have undertaken to study the production of specific proteins - the so-called autoantibodies in those infected with the coronavirus, as the lingering post-covid syndrome is still a mystery.
“It is about special elements of the immune system, explains the immunologist. Unlike protective antibodies that are produced after illness, autoantibodies are "internal enemies". They arise because of a breakdown in the immune system and attack not viruses or disease-causing bacteria, but attack the body's own organs and tissues.
Such "fighters with a wrong aim" arise not only after covid, but also as a result of many other infections. Most he althy people also have autoantibodies. However, most of these "wrong" antibodies are de alt with by the body without dangerous consequences. Each of us has a built-in mechanism called "immunological tolerance", says the specialist.
According to scientists, after passing covid, a specific pattern of autoantibody production is observed. It is possible that this is what contributes to the emergence of the post-covid syndrome, the researchers suggest. And also increase the risk of triggering autoimmune diseases after encountering the coronavirus.
In a new scientific development, a team of researchers from several medical centers in Los Angeles checked the production of autoantibodies of different types in 177 people who had recovered from covid in varying degrees of severity. 65% of them were women, 35% - men. The average age was 35 years.
As the most unexpected, the authors point out the following result: Despite the fact that classic autoimmune diseases are more common among women, the new research found a paradoxical predominance of autoimmune activation in men in the conditions of a severe course of covid.
In other words, the most powerful production of the "harmful" antibodies was noted in the male sex, suffering from a severe form of covid. And in the case of a mild or asymptomatic infection, autoantibodies are produced more actively in women.”
Dr. Kryuchkov, based on these new studies, people are most often interested in whether antibodies after a vaccine can also be dangerous?
- These are completely different antibodies. After vaccination, protective antibodies are produced designed to recognize the causative agent of the infection. In most of today's vaccines, these are antibodies to the S-protein, which makes up the spikes of the coronavirus.
If a person is infected with covid without protection, systemic inflammation often develops in the body. And it is this that ultimately provokes the release of the production of autoantibodies capable of damaging one's own organs and tissues.
I mean, autoantibodies can't just appear after vaccination?
- They can, but extremely rarely. These are isolated cases of complications. For example, thromboses, which in rare situations occur after vaccination, are related precisely to a breakdown in the immune system of the vaccinated. I repeat, these are isolated cases out of millions of vaccinated people, and with timely detection, these complications are successfully treated.
Regarding the question of whether people can be tested for the presence of autoantibodies, things are quite complicated. More than 200 types of autoantibodies are known, which means that it is impossible to do a complete or even an extended panel of studies in clinical practice.
Specialists from various medical fields can order their patients to be tested for individual types of autoantibodies, and if specific diseases are suspected: rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, lupus, autoimmune thyroiditis, etc.
After covid, autoantibodies of different types can occur depending on the target organs that suffer from the disease. And even a positive result of such a test does not at all confirm that the adverse reaction is a direct consequence of covid.
Furthermore, the presence of autoantibodies alone does not necessarily lead to the development of an autoimmune disease. Therefore, the results of the new scientific development have no practical significance, they contribute to a better understanding of the course of the viral infection and all possible consequences.
It turns out that autoimmune reactions occur more often in women with a mild and asymptomatic form of the infection. But the resistance to negative consequences is also higher, i.e., the organism copes better with maintaining control in general. From an immune point of view, men are probably less tolerant.