LifestyleWhat is the reason for cell damage in Long Covid, scientists decoded

What is the reason for cell damage in Long Covid, scientists decoded

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London. A team of Swiss researchers has identified that a part of the body’s immune system plays a key role in Covid longevity.

Most people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus recover after severe illness. However, some infected people continue to develop long-lasting symptoms.

The causes of Long Covid are still unknown, and there are no diagnostic tests or treatments.

The study from the University of Zurich (UZH) in Switzerland pointed to the role of a part of the body’s immune system that normally helps fight infections and eliminate damaged and infected body cells.

Onur Boyman, professor of immunology at UZH, said, “In patients with long Covid, a part of the immune system called the complement system does not return to its original state, but remains active and, thus, protects against healthy body cells. Also causes harm.”

In the study published in the journal Science, researchers studied 113 Covid patients for a year after SARS-CoV-2 infection and compared them with 39 healthy people.

After six months, 40 patients had active Long Covid disease. More than 6,500 proteins in the blood of study participants were analyzed during acute infection and six months later.

Analysis of which proteins were altered in long COVID confirmed excessive activity of the complement system, explained Carlo Servia-Hassler, a postdoctoral researcher on Boyman’s team. Patients with active long Covid also had elevated blood levels, indicating damage to various cells in the body, including red blood cells, platelets and blood vessels.

Changes in blood proteins in active long COVID indicate a relationship between proteins of the complement system, which are involved in blood clotting, and the repair of tissue damage and inflammation.

In contrast, the blood levels of Covid patients who recovered from the long-term illness returned to normal within six months. Therefore, active long Covid is identified by the protein pattern in the blood.

Our work not only lays the foundation for better diagnostics, but also supports clinical research that can be used to regulate the complement system, Boyman said. This opens new avenues for the development of more targeted treatments for patients with long Covid.


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