According to a recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, a mild or even an asymptomatic case of COVID can activate many viruses someone has previously battled. It says that “studies have reported sustained latent virus reactivation in cases of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection in hospitalized/intensive care unit (ICU) treated patients, which pose a severe threat to the patient’s life.”
There have been several studies on long Covid, which is now considered a syndrome, known as long COVID/post-COVID-19 syndrome’ – a term used to describe a diverse set of symptoms that persist after a diagnosed COVID-19 infection. Though there is no consensus on a universal definition of long Covid. Hundreds of possible symptoms have been identified, like chronic fatigue syndrome, suppression of the immune system, chest pain, palpitations, neurological and cognitive deficits, rashes, and gastrointestinal dysfunction.
The reactivation of latent viruses can cause severe fatigue and stress.
Anti- Inflammatory Pattern
The researchers at the University of Vienna, Austria, have also presented new evidence of triggers for fatigue following SARS-COV-2 infection. The team of researchers showed that an exaggerated anti-inflammatory response is likely to be responsible for long Covid syndrome (LCS).
The study has been published in "iScience".Today, millions of people suffer from LCS, which significantly affects their quality of life. However, it is not easy to diagnose and treat due to a lack of understanding of the underlying disease mechanisms. The diagnosis and treatment of LCS is still very difficult, and there is only a little knowledge about the factors causing accompanying symptoms.
According to the study, the team of researchers, led by chemist Christopher Gerner, have now turned their attention to LCS using mass spectrometry-based post-genomic analysis techniques. The strength of these methods lies in the very comprehensive mapping of actual conditions, i.e. the traceability of disease processes taking place in a patient.
In the course of a viral infection, there is normally a very strong activation of the immune system. But in virtually all of the Long COVID patients studied, corresponding markers such as cytokines, acute phase proteins, and eicosanoids, which indicate inflammation, were in fact hardly detectable, the study said.
"All important potential markers for acute inflammatory processes were below the levels of healthy donors or not detectable at all in LCS patients," said study author Christopher Gerner.
Surprisingly, the differences were more pronounced in long COVID patients compared to asymptomatic patients recovering from COVID disease than to healthy controls, the study said.
(With inputs from PTI)