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Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 30(1 SUPPL):247-248, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880706


Background: The biologic mechanisms underlying neurologic post-acute-sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) are incompletely understood. We measured plasma markers of neuronal injury (glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP], neurofilament light chain [NfL]) and inflammation among a cohort of people with prior confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection at early and late recovery following the initial illness (defined as < and > 90 days since COVID-19 onset, respectively). We hypothesized that those experiencing persistent neurologic symptoms would have elevations in these markers. Methods: The primary clinical outcome was the presence of self-reported central nervous system (CNS) PASC symptoms during the late recovery timepoint. We compared fold-changes in marker values between those with and without CNS PASC symptoms using linear mixed effects models and examined relationships between neurologic and immunologic markers using rank linear correlations. Results: Of 121 individuals, 52 reported CNS PASC symptoms. During early recovery, those who went on to report CNS PASC symptoms had elevations in GFAP (1.3-fold higher mean ratio, 95% CI 1.04-1.63, p=0.02), but not NfL (1.06-fold higher mean ratio, 95% CI 0.89-1.26, p=0.54). During late recovery, neither GFAP nor NfL levels were elevated among those with CNS PASC symptoms. Although absolute levels of NfL did not differ, those who reported CNS PASC symptoms demonstrated a stronger downward trend over time in comparison to those who did not report CNS PASC symptoms (p=0.041). Those who went on to report CNS PASC also exhibited elevations in IL-6 (48% higher during early recovery and 38% higher during late recovery), MCP-1 (19% higher during early recovery), and TNF-alpha (19% higher during early recovery and 13% higher during late recovery). GFAP and NfL correlated with levels of several immune markers during early recovery (MCP-1, IL-6, TNF-a, IFN-g);these correlations were attenuated during late recovery. Conclusion: Self-reported neurologic symptoms present approximately four months following SARS-CoV-2 infection are associated with elevations in markers of neurologic injury and inflammation at early recovery timepoints, suggesting that early injury can result in long-term disease. The correlation of GFAP and NfL with markers of systemic immune activation suggests one possible mechanism that might contribute to these symptoms. Additional work will be needed to better characterize these processes and to identify interventions to prevent or treat this condition.