São Paulo – Researchers are investigating the role of estrogens, the female hormones, in the physiological protection against the coronavirus. The research is based on the organization Global Health 50/50, which pointed out a greater chance of men dying from covid-19 than women.
According to the international study, “in most countries, the available data indicate that men are 50% more likely to die after diagnosis”.
The research is endorsed by statistics from the United States and other work done in China. “Male gender is a risk factor for worse outcome in patients with covid-19, regardless of age and susceptibility”, points out Global Health 50/50.
According to the project coordinator in Brazil, Rodrigo Portes Ureshino, a professor at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp), Sars-CoV – a coronavirus identified in 2002 – points to gender difference in infection and disease progression and estrogens could be associated with greater physiological protection for women.
“We want to test whether the same occurs with SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus, to arrive at compounds with therapeutic potential,” said Ureshino to Agência Fapesp.
The professor says that the tests will be done on human lineage cells, from a library of compounds with estrogenic activity. “The virus will be grown in cell lines that can support viral replication, including alveolar epithelial cells found in lung tissue,” he explains.