Researchers: Men are more susceptible to COVID-19 as virus may linger in the testicles

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:


  • Men are more vulnerable to longer and more serious cases of COVID-19 as the virus could linger in the testicles.
  • According to Drs. Aditi Shastri and Jayanthi Shastri, the virus attaches itself to a protein known as ACE2, acronym for angiotensin converting enzyme 2, that occurs in high levels in the testicles.
  • The research may serve as a potential basis for why men have higher mortality rates from the virus.

Based on a new study, men are more prone to longer, more serious cases of the coronavirus as the virus could linger in the testicles.

In Mumbai, India, researchers monitored the recovery of 68 patients to examine the gender disparity of the virus. According to a preliminary report posted on MedRxix, which hosts unpublished medical research papers that have not been peer-reviewed, the virus has taken a worse toll on men.

The virus sticks to a protein that occurs in high levels in the testicles, according to Dr. Aditi Shastri, an oncologist at Montefiore Medical Cener in the Bronx, and her mother, Dr. Jayanthi Shastri, a microbiologist at the Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Mumbai.

Aside from the large quantities in the testicles, this protein, known as ACE2 — an acronym for angiotensin converting enzyme 2 — is also present in the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart.

Based on the research, the virus could shelter in the testicles for longer periods than the rest of the body, since the testicles are separated from the immune system.

The mother-daughter medical researchers said these results may explain why women heal faster than male patients. The average duration for female patients to be cleared of the virus was four days, while the recoveries for men were two days longer on average, the report said.

The authors said, “These observations demonstrate that male subjects have delayed viral clearance,” making further comment that the testicles may be serving as “reservoirs” for the virus.

The study may serve as an explanation of why men have higher mortality rates from the virus, as what the case was in Italy, South Korea and New York City.

Other hypotheses said that men’s higher susceptibility to COVID-19 is likely associated with smoking habits and other diseases like high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.

Source: New York Post

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