Autoimmune responses play major role in long COVID-19, study suggests 

Patients with long COVID-19 symptoms are more likely to have autoimmune disease markers in their blood, a study published Sept. 22 in the European Respiratory Journal found.

Researchers took blood samples from 106 COVID-19 patients at three, six and 12 months after a diagnosis and compared them to control patients. 

Forty-one percent of the COVID-19 patients had autoantibodies in their blood. Around 20 percent to 30 percent of the patients, many of whom had lingering symptoms, had inflammation markers in their blood and two types of autoantibodies with known links to autoimmune diseases. 

"There will be a subset of patients who will end up with a diagnosis for life," Manali Mukherjee, PhD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, told NBC News Sept. 27. 


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