Symptoms persist for two years for some; inflammatory protein models can provide lengthy COVID clues

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – Below is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that requires further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by a peer review.

The symptoms of COVID-19 still plague many two years later

Half of COVID-19 patients discharged from a Chinese hospital in early 2020 still have at least one symptom two years later, according to a new study.

Overall, regardless of the initial disease severity, the 2,469 COVID-19 survivors in the study had improvements in physical and mental health over time. Almost 90% of the employed returned to work within two years. But the survivors were in “considerably” lower health than the general population at two years of age, and their burden of hangover symptoms “remained quite high,” the researchers reported Wednesday in The Lancet Respiratory Diseases. At two years old, 55 percent still had at least one post-effect COVID-19, according to the report. Muscle fatigue or weakness were the most frequently reported symptoms during the study. Patients who required mechanical ventilation for critically ill still had high rates of lung failure at two years.

“Our findings indicate that for a certain percentage of hospitalized COVID-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, it takes more than two years to fully recover from COVID-19,” the researchers said.

Protein “models” can help classify long-term COVID patients

Patterns of inflammatory proteins in the blood of people with long COVID may someday help guide individualized treatment, new findings suggest.

The researchers studied 55 people with long-term COVID-19 who had only been mildly ill with COVID-19 and found that about two-thirds had elevated levels of inflammatory proteins in their blood, with ongoing inflammation most likely occurring. in individuals with the highest burden of long-term COVID symptoms. “Although previous research has shown elevated levels of these proteins in patients with long COVID, we provide the first evidence that more than half” have a specific signature or pattern, while others do not, the researchers reported Tuesday on bioRxiv ahead of the peer review.

“At least two different patterns of inflammatory proteins were detected,” said study leader Troy Torgerson of the Allen Institute for Immunology in Seattle. The existence of these patterns suggests that the immune system is activated in specific ways that could respond to treatment with existing anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive drugs, Torgerson said. “Measuring these proteins in the blood could help identify long-term COVID patients who may be good candidates for treatment studies using these drugs or possible future treatments.”

Mixing of vaccines can make vaccines seem less effective

Increased contact between vaccinated people can give the false impression that COVID-19 vaccines are not working, the researchers warn.

Some studies have suggested that vaccinated individuals are infected at higher rates than unvaccinated individuals, but these studies are likely to involve statistical errors, particularly if they do not take into account the different contact patterns between vaccinated and unvaccinated people, he said. stated Korryn Bodner of St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto. Using computer models to simulate outbreaks with a vaccine that protects against infection and transmission, his team identified conditions that could create “a perfect storm to observe the negative efficacy of the vaccine even when a vaccine was effective,” he said. Bodner. Effective vaccines may appear ineffective when vaccinated people have more contact with each other than with unvaccinated people, when the benefits of the vaccine diminish but are not absent (as has happened with the new SARS-CoV-2 variants) or when efficacy is measured during an outbreak is growing (such as when a new variant is emerging), according to a report published in medRxiv prior to peer review.

The simulations do not show that this type of bias affected vaccine efficacy studies compared to the Omicron variant. They show, however, that “even if vaccines work, more contact between vaccinated people can make it seem like the vaccine isn’t working,” Bodner said.

Click for a Reuters chart on vaccines under development.

(Reported by Nancy Lapid; Edited by Bill Berkrot)

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