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Severe COVID-19 May Cause Long-Term Immune System Changes


30 Nov 2023

What you need to know In a small study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), severe cases of COVID-19 were shown to cause long-lasting changes to the immune system. Researchers found that severe cases of COVID-19 can change which genes are turned on or off in certain stem cells. The study focused on stem cells that produce white blood cells, a part of the immune system. The stem cells of people who recovered from severe COVID-19 produced more white blood cells — which then produced more inflammatory signals — than the cells of healthy counterparts.


Severe COVID-19 May Cause Long-Term Immune System Changes


30 Nov 2023

What you need to know: In a small study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), severe cases of COVID-19 were shown to cause long-lasting changes to the immune system. Researchers found that severe cases of COVID-19 can change which genes are turned on or off in certain stem cells. The study focused on stem cells that produce white blood cells, a part of the immune system. The stem cells of people who recovered from severe COVID-19 produced more white blood cells — which then produced more inflammatory signals — than the cells of healthy counterparts.


SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary arteries, increases plaque inflammation


28 Sep 2023

NIH-funded research sheds light on the link between COVID-19 infection and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can directly infect the arteries of the heart and cause the fatty plaque inside arteries to become highly inflamed, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findingsexternal link, published in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, may help explain why certain people who get COVID-19 have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease, or if they already have it, generate more heart-related complications.


Cold virus may set the stage for Long COVID


20 Sep 2023

At a Glance Prior infection with a common cold coronavirus may predispose some people to develop Long COVID. The findings identify a potential marker that could help identify people at high risk of developing Long COVID.


Genetic variant associated with absence of COVID-19 symptoms


09 Aug 2023

At least 20% of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, never showed symptoms. These asymptomatic infections could provide clues to how the virus can be quickly cleared from the body. Genetic factors may be involved. However, most studies of genetics and COVID-19 outcomes to date have focused on severe disease.




Articles


Oral Simnotrelvir for Adult Patients with Mild-to-Moderate Covid-19


08 Jan 2024

BACKGROUND Simnotrelvir is an oral 3-chymotrypsin–like protease inhibitor that has been found to have in vitro activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and potential efficacy in a phase 1B trial. CONCLUSIONS Early administration of simnotrelvir plus ritonavir shortened the time to the resolution of symptoms among adult patients with Covid-19, without evident safety concerns. (Funded by Jiangsu Simcere Pharmaceutical; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT05506176. opens in new tab.)




SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers pro-atherogenic inflammatory responses in human coronary vessels


28 Sep 2023

Patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) present increased risk for ischemic cardiovascular complications up to 1 year after infection. Although the systemic inflammatory response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection likely contributes to this increased cardiovascular risk, whether SARS-CoV-2 directly infects the coronary vasculature and attendant atherosclerotic plaques remains unknown. Here we report that SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA is detectable and replicates in coronary lesions taken at autopsy from severe COVID-19 cases. SARS-CoV-2 targeted plaque macrophages and exhibited a stronger tropism for arterial lesions than adjacent perivascular fat, correlating with macrophage infiltration levels. SARS-CoV-2 entry was increased in cholesterol-loaded primary macrophages and dependent, in part, on neuropilin-1. SARS-CoV-2 induced a robust inflammatory response in cultured macrophages and human atherosclerotic vascular explants with secretion of cytokines known to trigger cardiovascular events. Our data establish that SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary vessels, inducing plaque inflammation that could trigger acute cardiovascular complications and increase long-term cardiovascular risk.




Long-Term Dysfunction of Taste Papillae in SARS-CoV-2


06 Sep 2023

Abstract BACKGROUND We sought to determine whether ongoing taste disturbance in the post-acute sequelae of coronavirus disease 2019 is associated with the persistent virus in primary taste tissue. CONCLUSIONS Our data show a temporal association in patients between functional taste, taste papillae morphology, and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and its associated immunological changes. (Funded by Intramural Research Program/National Institute on Aging/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers NCT03366168 and NCT04565067.)




Uninsured and Not Immune — Closing the Vaccine-Coverage Gap for Adults


20 Jul 2023

The U.S. Covid-19 vaccination strategy was simple: get safe and effective vaccines into arms as quickly as possible by making them free and accessible. This strategy worked: more than 670 million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered to more than 270 million Americans by the end of the national public health emergency.




Strategic Masking to Protect Patients from All Respiratory Viral Infections


06 Jul 2023

The end of the public health emergency in the United States is a richly symbolic milestone in the course of the SARSCoV-2 pandemic. During the height of the pandemic, the virus killed millions of people worldwide, upended lives, and radically altered health care. One of the most visible changes in health care was the introduction of universal masking, a measure designed to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission in health care facilities by applying source control and exposure protection to everyone in the facility. With the end of the public health emergency, however, many health care centers in the United States are now stopping universal masking and reverting to requiring masking in only limited circumstances (e.g., when health care workers are caring for patients with potentially contagious respiratory infections).




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