It has been three years into the pandemic, and the medical neighborhood has but to completely resolve the thriller of lengthy COVID. However this week, an knowledgeable shared what could possibly be answerable for this mind-boggling phenomenon.
In keeping with Brent Palmer, Ph.D., an affiliate professor of allergy and scientific immunology on the College of Colorado Faculty of Drugs, viral reservoirs that linger within the physique could possibly be inflicting the immune system to stay overactive for lengthy intervals, resulting in persistent signs.
“We predict it’s an overexaggerated immune response that’s inflicting the issue. What we hypothesize is that there’s residual virus someplace within the physique, but it surely’s not detected by a nasal swab. It has been proven that people who died of extreme acute COVID had virus throughout their physique. After they do autopsies on these people, they will discover virus within the mind, the kidney, the lung, and the intestine,” Palmer defined in a news release.
Final June, David R. Walt and his colleagues at Harvard Medical Faculty additionally proposed a similar idea after detecting SARS-CoV-2 proteins within the blood of 65% of lengthy COVID sufferers as much as 12 months after their acute an infection.
“The half-life of spike protein within the physique is fairly quick, so its presence signifies that there have to be some type of lively viral reservoir,” Walt defined on the time, noting that spike protein was not detected within the blood of COVID-19 sufferers with out long-term signs.
For Palmer, vaccines and antiviral remedy similar to Paxlovid can assist relieve signs of lengthy COVID. The 2 assist the immune system yield a greater antibody response in opposition to the virus, lowering the probabilities of creating long-term signs.
“There have been research in people with lengthy COVID which have proven that vaccination causes a modest lower in signs. If you happen to vaccinate them, you bump up their immune response much more, perhaps you get a greater antibody response, you root out these viral reservoirs, and that results in decreased signs. Different research have proven that giving sufferers Paxlovid can suppress viral replication, and as soon as the viral utility is suppressed, the virus-specific immune response will drop off,” he stated.