SDGs Live | Covid-19 In Africa: an ovarian victory?

Dr. Osman Dufailu

Dr. Osman Dufailu

We need to have data on what could be a potential problem (Preventive Medicine) so that when the problem comes, we already have the solution. With COVID-19 this is what we needed to do. So the recent paper published by a team of scientists led by Dr. Dufailu and Dr. Meshach Asare was to support and encourage the gathering of data of COVID-19 patients and survivors, and baseline as well post-vaccine immune markers of those taking the vaccines.

With this data, they could be able to prove whether the high Estrogens in Africans was the reason we survived COVID-19 compared to those in Europe, America, or Asia. If that’s the case, do the vaccines boast Estrogen levels, if it does, then we can save lives and resources by prioritizing vaccination in patients with underlining health conditions and elderly citizens before the general public with low risk.

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COVID-19 in Africa: an ovarian victory? | Abstract 

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mainly attacks the respiratory system and is characterized by pneumonia, cytokine storm, coagulation disorders and severe immune downregulation.

Although public health experts predicted worst outcomes in Africa, the incidence, hospitalization and mortality rates have been lower in Africa compared to other continents. Interestingly, lower incidence and mortality rates have been observed in women from Africa compared to their cohorts from other continents.

Also, in the US non-Hispanic Black females have lower COVID-19 and death rates compared to their white counterparts. It’s unclear why this significant difference exists; however, the ovarian function, genetics and immunological statuses could play a major role. Women of African descent have elevated levels of estrogen compared with Caucasians hence we anticipate that estrogen might offer some protection against the SARS-CoV-2 infections.

The racial differences in lifestyle, age and inaccessibility to contraceptive usage might also play a role. Here, we provide insight on how the high levels of estrogen in African women might contribute to the lower cases and fatalities in Africa.

Specifically, estrogen might offer protection against COVID-19 by suppressing hyper-production of cytokines, promoting anti-inflammatory cytokines, stimulating antibody production and suppressing endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. This will as well provide useful information on how future pandemics could be managed using Africa as a case study.

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