Dr. Aristo Vojdani joined us for our Navigating the New Normal: COVID and Autoimmunity Summit. He presented on SARS-CoV-2: The Autoimmune Virus.
Dr. Vojdani strongly believes that COVID long haul is not a psychological problem, but a biomedical problem and during this webinar, he discusses why.
Dr. Vojdani covered three main points when covering SARS-CoV-2 and autoimmunity included:
- How SARS-CoV-2 can affect the immune system
- How to assess changes in the immune system at the earliest stages of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders
- How the measurement and changes in numbers, percentages, and activity of the immune system could prevent the progression of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders
In Autoimmune Reviews, Dr. Vojdani shows how viruses are involved in autoimmune disease and explained how the viruses carry certain proteins or amino acids similar to those of human self-tissue antigens which can activate T and B cells and result in the production of cross-reactive antibodies. Cross reactive antibodies are important when trying to understand what impact SARS-CoV-2 may have on autoimmune diseases.
Understanding Cross Reactivity
Cross reactivity is when two molecules compete for the same binding site on an antibody due to structural similarity. Dr. Vojdani references an article from Frontiers in Immunology that explained why not all cross reactivity is bad. This article shows that some individuals who had the DTP or whooping cough vaccine, may be protected from SARS-CoV-2 because of cross reactivity.
Dr. Vojdani finished his presentation on SARS-CoV-2 and autoimmunity by discussing how he measures antibodies against antigens expressed in human tissue at Cyrex labs. While he touched on the COVID-19 vaccine, he really emphasized how we are continuing to learn about the relationship between the vaccine and autoimmunity. There is not enough conclusive research to advise someone with autoimmunity to take, or not take, the vaccine due to it affecting individuals differently.