They discover a glitch causing persistent Covid.

As the coronavirus begins to enter our vocabulary and our daily lives, the scientific community has not stopped researching and searching for solutions and answers to all the questions that have arisen. Now a new study led by University Hospital Zurich and published in a scientific journal The science, has cleared up a big mystery: what causes persistent Covid (signs and symptoms after 4 weeks) in some people.

Apparently, the team got help 113 patients, of which 40 with persistent Covid, were monitored for a year. They all underwent longitudinal serum analysis at six and twelve months, compared the results with those of 39 healthy people, and measured serum levels of 6,596 proteins.

After this comparison, they discovered that the reason lies in failure of our immune system, especially the complement system. In particular, in patients with persistent Covid, more proteins associated with the activation of this complement are present: “In patients with persistent Covid, the complement system no longer returns to its basal state, but rather remains activated and therefore also damages healthy body cells“, explains scientist Onur Boyman in a statement from the University of Zurich.

New specific treatments

The expert recommends getting vaccinated against Covid-19:

But that wasn’t the only thing they found, and the team realized that the tests showed increase in antibodies against cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus, which can lead to activation of this complement system.

“Analysis of which proteins were altered during persistent Covid confirmed excessive activity of the complement system. Patients with active persistent Covid disease also had elevated blood levels, which indicates damage to various body cellsincluding red blood cells, platelets and blood vessels,” explains Carlo Cervia-Hasler, a postdoctoral fellow on Boyman’s team and first author of the study.

This could open the door to the development of new treatments and cures: “Our work not only lays the foundation for better diagnosis, but also supports clinical research into substances that can be used to regulate the complement system. This opens up new opportunities for the development of more specific treatments for patients with long-term Covid,” concludes Boyman.

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