Home » Health » “Even asymptomatic patients with COVID-19 may experience long-term sequelae” | dispatch

“Even asymptomatic patients with COVID-19 may experience long-term sequelae” | dispatch

(Seoul = Yonhap News) Reporter Ki-cheon Han = There are many people who suffer from various aftereffects after suffering from the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

In fact, a study found that half of COVID-19 patients could suffer from sequelae for more than six months after recovery.

In academia, this is called ‘long COVID’ or ‘post-COVID syndrome’.

Although it is not yet certain, it is presumed that many autoantibodies are produced in patients recovering from COVID-19, causing these sequelae.

Usually, when you are infected with a pathogen, such as a virus, antibodies are produced in the body to block subsequent infections.

However, autoantibodies mistake normal self cells as coming from outside and attack them.

This is called an autoimmune disease, and lupus disease or rheumatoid arthritis are typical examples.

So far, it is known that a lot of autoantibodies are produced in patients with severe or severe COVID-19. This means that sequelae usually follow patients with severe symptoms.

However, a study result showed that when infected with COVID-19, high levels of autoantibodies occur even in asymptomatic patients regardless of the severity of symptoms.

In addition, it has been confirmed again that even if a confirmed patient recovers from COVID-19, he or she may experience various sequelae until about six months later.

It is the first time a study has reported that mild COVID-19 patients and asymptomatic infections may have long-term sequelae.

The results of this study conducted by scientists at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles (LA), USA were published as a thesis in the open access journal ‘Journal of Translational Medicine’ on the 30th (local time).

Immune response of asymptomatic patients with novel coronavirus

The research team compared blood samples from 177 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with healthy volunteers taken before the pandemic.

As a result of the test, all of these confirmed patients had high levels of autoantibodies.

By gender, the autoantibody level of males was higher than that of females.

In autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, women usually have higher autoantibody levels than men.

Dr Justina Pert-Bover, lead author of the study, said, “These results may seem paradoxical, given that autoimmune diseases are more common in women. It was also expected to some extent.”

In this study, only the blood of confirmed patients was tested before a vaccine for COVID-19 was available.

The research team plans to determine what type of autoantibody remains in the body of patients with long-term sequelae of COVID-19 for a long time.

Another research task is to find out whether similar autoantibodies are generated in the infected person with breakthrough infection (infection after vaccination).

Dr. Susan Chung, co-lead author, said, “Understanding how COVID-19 infection stimulates an autoantibody response, we will be one step closer to developing a treatment for the long-term sequelae of COVID-19.”

Furthermore, the research team expects that it will be possible to prevent long-term sequelae by screening COVID-19 patients with risk factors.

Several studies on the long-term sequelae of COVID-19 have been published before.

A research team at Pennsylvania State University Medical School in the United States drew particular attention to a paper presented at the JAMA Network Open of the American Medical Association on October 13th.

It was a review paper that analyzed 57 related research reports from around the world.

The research team used data from 25,351 adults and children (79% in-hospitalized) who were confirmed as unvaccinated from December 2019, when the coronavirus first emerged, to March this year.

As a result of analyzing the sequelae of COVID-19 in three stages: short-term (1 month after the initial onset), mid-term (2-5 months), and long-term (more than 6 months), it was found that 1 in 2 people suffered long-term sequelae.

More than half of the patients complained of weight loss, fatigue, high fever, and pain that immediately affect their quality of life.

In addition, 1 out of 5 patients showed reduced mobility, 1 out of 4 showed decreased concentration, and 1 out of 3 patients were diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder.

In addition, about 60% had ‘abnormal findings’ on chest imaging, about 25% had difficulty breathing, and 20% had hair loss and rash.

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Ki-cheon Han ([email protected])

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