In Great Britain, a corona patient has been continuously infected with the coronavirus for 16 months. The sufferer had all tests positive for 505 days until death, a team of British researchers reported in a new study to be presented Saturday at the European Congress of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Lisbon. The previous record was 335 days.
For their study, researchers from King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in London examined the cases of nine patients whose immune systems were weakened due to organ transplants, HIV, cancer, or other drug treatments between March 2020 and December 2021. All were positive for at least eight weeks, and two were positive for more than a year.
Five of the nine patients survived two of them after antibody and antiviral therapy. The fifth person was still infected at the last follow-up in early 2022, even after her treatment, and had Covid-19 for 412 days. According to the researchers, if she still tested positive at her next appointment, she would exceed the record of 505 days.
Virus changes over time
The team found that the virus of the nine Corona patients in London changed over time. Five of them developed at least one mutant. In one patient, they discovered ten mutations that occurred separately in the alpha, delta, and omicron variants. The researchers now suspect that immunocompromised patients accumulated mutations during their persistent infection, allowing new variants to emerge.
The situation highlights the urgent need for new Corona treatments for immunocompromised patients, virologist, and study co-author Gaia Nebbia said Friday. “Immunocompromised patients with persistent infection have poor survival, and new treatment strategies are urgently needed to end their infection.”
- source: kurier.at/picture: pixabay.com
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