Some long-term COVID patients still have virus in their blood; Paxlovid rebound patients may need longer treatment

© Reuters.FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker collects swabs from passengers for PCR testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at OR Tambo International Airport before travelling to Uganda amid the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant Omicron Johannes

Nancy Rapid

(Reuters) – Below is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include studies that require further research to confirm the findings and that have not been certified by peer review.

Some long-term COVID patients still have virus in their blood

New findings from a small study suggest that some chronic COVID cases may be the immune system’s response to a SARS-CoV-2 infection lurking somewhere in the body.

The researchers analyzed multiple plasma samples collected over time from 63 COVID-19 patients, including 37 who went on to develop long-term COVID. The spike protein on the surface of the virus can be detected for up to 12 months in most patients with long-term SARS-CoV-2 infection and is absent in plasma samples from recovered patients without persistent symptoms protein. In a paper published last week on medRxiv, the researchers said that the spike protein circulating in the blood could mean “there is an active viral reservoir in the body” “Peer Review. The exact location of the reservoir was unclear from the study. The researchers said they had previously found active virus in children’s gastrointestinal tracts weeks after initial coronavirus infection, while other researchers had found “multiple anatomical sites up to seven months after symptom onset” Genetic evidence of the virus.

If the results can be confirmed in a larger study, the presence of the spike protein in the blood long after the initial infection could be a way to diagnose long-term COVID, the researchers said.

Paxlovid ‘rebound’ patients may need longer treatment

Some COVID-19 patients who received a 5-day course reported a rebound in symptoms Pfizer The New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE: ) antiviral Paxlovid pill may be the result of undertreatment, according to researchers who closely evaluated one such patient.

Trial results showed that Paxlovid reduced the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 in high-risk patients by 89% if taken within five days of the onset of symptoms. In some patients, however, viral levels and symptoms rebounded after completing a course of Paxlovid, leading to concerns that the mutation might develop resistance to both drug treatments, or that the drugs might somehow weaken the patient’s antibody resistance. But when the researchers isolated the Omicron BA.2 variant from a rebound patient and tested it in laboratory experiments, they found that it was still sensitive to Paxlovid and had no mutations that would reduce the drug’s effectiveness. They also found that the patients’ antibodies still prevented the virus from entering and infecting new cells.

In a paper published Monday in Clinical Infectious Diseases, researchers said COVID-19 symptoms may rebound after Paxlovid treatment because not enough drug reaches infected cells to completely stop the virus from replicating itself. / It’s also possible that the drug is metabolized or processed at different rates in different people, or that some people need to take it for more than five days.

After COVID-19, Kids Have More Symptoms, But Less Anxiety

Persistent health problems are only marginally more common among children after COVID-19, researchers from Denmark reported Wednesday in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health higher than children of the same age who avoided the virus. lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(22)00154-7/full text. However, the researchers also found that children who had never had COVID-19 had higher levels of anxiety.

They said 40% of infants and toddlers with COVID-19 and 27% of their uninfected peers developed at least one symptom over two months. Among children ages 4 to 11, 38% of children with COVID-19 and 34% of children without COVID-19 had persistent symptoms. Among 12- to 14-year-olds, 46% of those with COVID-19 and 41% of those without infection had long-term symptoms. The results are based on a survey of nearly 11,000 mothers of infected children and nearly 33,000 mothers of uninfected children.

While otherwise healthy children often experience symptoms associated with long-term COVID-19, such as headaches, mood swings, abdominal pain and fatigue, infected children have longer-lasting symptoms, with one-third of children developing new symptoms after COVID-19. symptom. To the researchers’ surprise, children with COVID-19 experienced fewer psychological and social problems than children in the control group. They speculate that this may be because uninfected children have “greater fear of unknown diseases and more restrictions on daily life due to protecting themselves from the virus”.

Click for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development

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