According to study, the Coronavirus could linger in the testicles, making men prone to longer and more severe cases of the virus.
Researchers tracked the recovery of 68 patients in Mumbai, India to study the gender differences of the virus which has taken a worse toll on men as compared to women.
This was confirmed by a preliminary report posted at MedRxxix, which hosts unpublished medical research papers that have not been peer reviewed.
An oncologist named Dr. Shastri at Montefiore Medical Centre in the Bronze and her mother Dr Jayanthi Shastri who is also a microbiologist at the Kusturba hospital for Infectious Diseases at Mumbai said the virus attaches itself to a protein that is produced in the testicles.
This protein known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is present in the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart, in addition to large quantities in the testicles.
But since testicles are walled off from the immune system, the virus could live there for longer periods than any part of the body. This is according to the study.
The Shastri researchers explained that these findings may explain why women recover from the virus more quickly than men.
They also determined that the average amount of time for female patients to feel well is four days whereas men recover two days longer. The report stated.
“These observations demonstrates that male subjects have delayed viral clearance”, the authors wrote”, adding that the testicles may be serving as “reservoirs“ for the virus.
The study also offered some explanations as to the reason for the high rate of death amongst men in South Korea, New York City and Italy.
However, some people have suggested that men are more vulnerable due to their smoking and drinking lifestyle. Due to smoking, they may have high blood pressure or suffer coronary artery disease.