Het coronavirus: waarom overlijden daar meer mannen dan vrouwen aan?

Hoe kan het dat er meer mannen dan vrouwen doodgaan aan het #coronavirus? Dat heeft alles te maken met hoe hun #immuunsysteem werkt. Alles weten over de strijd die je lichaam aangaat met #corona? Hoogleraar immunologie Huub Savelkoul (Wageningen Universiteit) legt het uit in deze video.

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Transcript

So you are actually already 1-0 behindSuppose you shake hands with someone who is infected with a virus.You just get a few million virus particles on your hand.That means that if you touch your nose, within a day ….. half of all nasal cells are infected with the virus.That virus will take over the entire machinery in that cell in order to multiply.As a result, every cell makes about ten thousand virus particles every day …… and it coughs, and you snarl and sneeze about two to three meters in the round.Such an infection, therefore, spreads very quickly.However, your body realizes very quickly that something is going on.The first line of defense will be called up within a few minutes.These are the natural killer cells.However, this first line of defense is limited.They are few and they don't have that many resources.And that's why they call in reinforcements, and they do that by …the secretion of signaling substances: cytokinesThis calls cells from the second line of defense to infection.But that takes about three or four days.In the meantime, the virus will continue to multiply.So you are actually already 1-0 behind.The second line of defense consists of killer T cells.These are cells that are very specifically able to recognize virus infected cells …and disable them.For that, however, those cells must be activated.And that happens with helper T cells.And in that group of cells, there are the commanders of your immune army.After that activation, those killer T cells divide.And now it is very special that killer T cells divide more often in women than in men.So women have a larger defense army against viral infections than men.Corona is a smart virus because, as we think about it now, it removes the commander.The fighting by the immune army then becomes a mess.The killer T cells no longer receive a stop signal when the virus has disappeared.And they keep going on to attack your healthy cells too.This causes damage to your lungs.And as a result of the inflammatory response, more and more fluid enters your lungs.It's getting harder to breathe oxygen and eventually … Thus, during a coronavirus infection, cells will no longer receive a stop signal.As a result, they continue to produce cytokines, which we call a cytokine storm.This creates very high levels of cytokines in the blood …… and as a result, other organs, such as the liver, kidneys …… and eventually the brain also fails.People who are in poor health or are old are therefore at risk of dying.Not only as a result of the virus infection, but even more …… by their own overactive immune system.Children practically do not make a cytokine storm, which is why they do not suffer much from infections …… and they will generally not die from it.Young, healthy people have more than enough commanders …… to stop the activated killer T cells in time and thereby prevent a cytokine storm.They are getting better and they have memory for this infection.That means they are immune.If you've had the virus, you're immune for a while.The memory cells can be compared to a patrol that walks through the neighborhood.They have seen the crook, in this case the coronavirus, once before …and can therefore recognize much faster.This saves time, so that you have the army in the right place to defend yourself faster.So if you have a lot of these people, about sixty percent for the coronavirus …you have group immunity, and you can stop the transmission of the virus.But how long do you stay immune?We don't know exactly.We estimate about six months to a maximum of one year.Each time the virus will change a little bit.Think of it as a crook who dresses up a little every time.But some variants can then be very difficult to recognize for the immune system.That is why we need a good vaccine to eventually defeat the virus.The vaccine must be able to prevent the virus from entering body cells ….and thereby causes illness.It is hoped that such a vaccine will become available soon.

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