While the number of Coronavirus infected patients continue to rise, there are numerous researches being conducted simultaneously on the nature of this disease, the mortality rate and how it affects different people. Now a study has said that men are more prone to COVID 19 because of testicles! The research was conducted by a group of researchers led by an oncologist in New York and her mother, a microbiologist in Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital. The researchers studied 48 men and 20 women living in Mumbai who had been infected. They found that men take a longer time to recover from the disease because of a protein in their testicles.
The study has been posted on MedRxix, which hosts unpublished medical research, although it has not been peer-reviewed. Dr. Aditi Shastri, an oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, and her mother, Dr. Jayanthi Shastri, a microbiologist at the Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Mumbai, conducted the study. As per their findings, the virus attaches itself to a protein known as angiotensin that occurs in high levels in the testicles. This protein is present in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and also the heart, but in large quantities in the testicles. The study states, the virus could stay for a longer period there than the rest of the body.
For conducting this study, the researchers tested the hospitalized patients in Mumbai’s Kasturba hospital. They also looked at their infected family members every two days to check the recovery speed of them, since the infection. They found that in 20 female patients, the time for viral clearance was four days, but in 48 males it was 50% longer. Their findings determine why men have taken a long time to cure as compared to women.
The authors wrote, “These observations demonstrate that male subjects have delayed viral clearance.” They also mention that testicles could be the “reservoirs” for the virus. Although the story has not been peer-reviewed, some experts have expressed doubts on the findings. Virology Professor Ian Jones from the University of Reading told the Daily Mail, “Men generally do worse than women in immunological outcomes, possibly the result of only one X chromosome, and I think that this imbalance is more likely behind the differences seen.” Coming to the death tolls, COVID-19 has registered notably higher rates in men than women in China, South Korea, Italy and the United States.