Long COVID patients show signs of autoimmune disease a year after infection

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Dr. Mukherjee and her colleagues will now study long COVID patients over a period of two years to see how their levels of autoantibodies change in the longer term.


(European Lung Foundation/ Medical Xpress) — Blood samples drawn from patients with long COVID who are still suffering from fatigue and shortness of breath after a year show signs of autoimmune disease in those patients, according to a study published today in the European Respiratory Journal.

Autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy parts of the body, instead of defending the body against disease. It causes conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

Researchers say this finding offers clues about the nature of long COVID that could ultimately lead to improvements in diagnosing and treating the condition.

The research was led by Dr. Manali Mukherjee from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada and Professor Chris Carlsten at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Mukherjee said, “Although long COVID is now recognized by bodies like the World Health Organization, we still know very little about why it develops or how we can help patients. (…)

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