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EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328859

ABSTRACT

Post-acute sequelae of COVID (PASC), or long COVID, is a multisystem complication of SARS-CoV-2 infection that continues to debilitate millions worldwide thus highlighting the public health importance of identifying effective therapeutics to alleviate this illness. The pathophysiology behind PASC may be attributed to the recent discovery of persistent S1 protein subunit of SARS-CoV-2 in CD16+ monocytes up to 15 months after infection. CD16+ monocytes, which express both CCR5 and fractalkine receptors (CX3CR1), play a role in vascular homeostasis and endothelial immune surveillance. We believe targeting these receptors using the CCR5 antagonist, maraviroc, along with pravastatin, could disrupt the monocytic-endothelial-platelet axis that may be central to the etiology of PASC. Using five validated clinical scales (NYHA, MRC Dyspnea, COMPASS-31, modified Rankin, and Fatigue Severity Score) to measure 18 participants’ response to treatment, we observed significant clinical improvement in six to twelve weeks on a combination of maraviroc 300mg PO BID and pravastatin 10 mg PO daily. Subjective neurological (p=0.002), autonomic (p<0.0001), respiratory (p=0.0153), cardiac (p=0.002) and fatigue (p<0.0001) symptoms scores all decreased which correlated with statistically significant decreases in vascular markers sCD40L and VEGF. These findings suggest that by interrupting the monocytic-endothelial-platelet axis, maraviroc and pravastatin may restore the immune dysregulation observed in PASC and could be potential therapeutic options. This sets the framework for a future double-blinded, placebo-controlled randomized trial to further investigate the drug efficacy of maraviroc and pravastatin in treating PASC.

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