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1.
New Microbiol ; 45(4)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2169095

ABSTRACT

Persistence of detectable viral RNA does not depend on the symptomatic status of the patients. Here we describe the case of a strongly immunocompromised patient living with a prolonged SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant infection without showing any symptoms. The importance of our findings is that the persistence of infection with an old SARS-CoV-2 strain, in an immunocompromised host, may allow recombination events generating new viral variants whose pathogenicity cannot be predicted. Our observation calls for the urgent need for continuous monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 genomic evolution in immunocompromised patients.

2.
Clin Infect Pract ; 16: 100210, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2130411

ABSTRACT

Background: Most patients with SARS-CoV-2 are non-infectious within 2 weeks, though viral RNA may remain detectable for weeks. However there are reports of persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection, with viable virus and ongoing infectivity months after initial detection. Beyond individuals, viral evolution during persistent infections may be accelerated, driving emergence of mutations associated with viral variants of concern. These patients often do not meet inclusion criteria for clinical trials, meaning clinical and virologic characteristics, and optimal management strategies are poorly evidence-based. Methods: We analysed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection from a regional testing laboratory in South-West England between March 2020 and December 2021, with at least two SARS-CoV-2 positive samples separated by ≥ 56 days were identified. Excluding those with confirmed or likely re-infection, we identified patients with persistent infection, characterised by an ongoing clinical syndrome consistent with COVID-19 alongside monophyletic viral lineage of SARS-CoV-2. We examined clinical and virologic characteristics, treatment, and outcome. We further performed a literature review investigating cases of persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection, reviewing patient characteristics and treatment. Results: We identified six patients with persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. All were hypogammaglobulinaemic and had underlying haematological malignancy, with four having received B-cell depleting therapy. Evidence of viral evolution, including accrual of mutations associated with variants of concern, was demonstrated in five cases. Four patients ultimately cleared SARS-CoV-2. In two patients, clearance followed treatment with casirivimab/imdevimab. Both survived beyond thirty days following viral clearance, having experienced infections of 305- and 269-days duration respectively, after failed attempts at clearance with alternative therapies. We found 60 cases of confirmed persistent infection in the literature, with a further 31 probable cases. Of those, 80% of patients treated with monoclonal antibodies cleared SARS-CoV-2, and none died. Conclusion: Haematological malignancy and patients receiving B-cell depleting therapies represent key groups at risk of persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Throughout persistent infection, SARS-CoV-2 can evolve rapidly, giving rise to significant mutations, including those implicated in variants of concern. Monoclonal antibodies appear to be a promising therapeutic option, potentially in combination with antivirals, crucial for individuals, and for public health.

3.
New Microbiol ; 45(4)2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2012020

ABSTRACT

Persistence of detectable viral RNA does not depend on the symptomatic status of the patients. Here we describe the case of a strongly immunocompromised patient living with a prolonged SARS-CoV-2 Alpha variant infection without showing any symptoms. The importance of our findings is that the persistence of infection with an old SARS-CoV-2 strain, in an immunocompromised host, may allow recombination events generating new viral variants whose pathogenicity cannot be predicted. Our observation calls for the urgent need for continuous monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 genomic evolution in immunocompromised patients.

4.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903475

ABSTRACT

Currently, there are no evidence-based treatment options for long COVID-19, and it is known that SARS-CoV-2 can persist in part of the infected patients, especially those with immunosuppression. Since there is a robust secretion of SARS-CoV-2-specific highly-neutralizing IgA antibodies in breast milk, and because this immunoglobulin plays an essential role against respiratory virus infection in mucosa cells, being, in addition, more potent in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 than IgG, here we report the clinical course of an NFκB-deficient patient chronically infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Gamma variant, who, after a non-full effective treatment with plasma infusion, received breast milk from a vaccinated mother by oral route as treatment for COVID-19. After such treatment, the symptoms improved, and the patient was systematically tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. Thus, we hypothesize that IgA and IgG secreted antibodies present in breast milk could be useful to treat persistent SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunodeficient patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/complications , Eating , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin A , Immunoglobulin G , Milk, Human , NF-kappa B , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
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