Enzyme makes men more vulnerable to coronavirus; adding interferon may improve treatment

Enzyme makes men more vulnerable to coronavirus; adding interferon may improve treatment

Enzyme makes men more vulnerable to coronavirus; adding interferon may improve treatment

And because men have a higher concentration of this enzyme, it is no surprise that they are far more likely to bear the brunt of Covid-19 than women. The researchers emphasize that study participants receiving these medications did not have higher levels of ACE2, which adds to earlier evidence that the drugs do not increase people's risk for coronavirus infection.

This finding means that patients with diabetes, congestive heart failure and kidney disease - who are already at higher risk of mortality from COVID-19 - can continue their regular ACE inhibitor regimen, which may help to reduce mortality in those patients from their underlying conditions. The drugs account for billions of dollars in prescription sales worldwide.

Dr Adriaan Voors, Professor of Cardiology at the University Medical Center Groningen (The Netherlands) said in a statement that the study findings indicate that these drugs should not be discontinued, as other recent research might have suggested.

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 4 million people worldwide and killed nearly 277,000, according to a Reuters tally.

Other limitations of the study include the fact that the researchers only measured concentrations of ACE2 in plasma, not in tissues, so they can not be sure that concentrations in the blood are similar to those seen in tissues; it is the ACE2 in the lung tissues that are thought to be important for viral infection of the lungs, not ACE2 concentrations in the blood. And the patients involved in the study did not have COVID-19, so the researchers can not provide a direct link between the course of the disease and ACE2 plasma concentrations.

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COVID-19 latches onto ACE-2 receptors, known as the "gateway" into cells inside body, meaning droplets from an infected person were to land on the eye, the virus could begin infiltrating cells there.

Scientists say the novel Coronavirus can enter the body through the eyes, after research found that the eyes contain a protein used by the disease scientifically called SARS-CoV-2 to bind to cells.

Dr Sama and Dr Voors noted that as well as in the lung, ACE2 is found in the heart, kidneys, in tissues lining blood vessels, and in particularly high levels in the testes.

The new research also comes a month after another study had claimed that men may be more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus than women due to their reproductive organs (testicles). The time it took for at least half the patients to have negative coronavirus tests was seven days with add-on interferon, compared to 12 days without it, researchers reported on Sunday in The Lancet. The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

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