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RSS FeedsIJMS, Vol. 24, Pages 12962: SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections and Long COVID in the Post-Omicron Phase of the Pandemic (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)


19 august 2023 11:22:55

IJMS, Vol. 24, Pages 12962: SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections and Long COVID in the Post-Omicron Phase of the Pandemic (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)

We are reviewing the current state of knowledge on the virological and immunological correlates of long COVID, focusing on recent evidence for the possible association between the increasing number of SARS-CoV-2 reinfections and the parallel pandemic of long COVID. The severity of reinfections largely depends on the severity of the initial episode; in turn, this is determined both by a combination of genetic factors, particularly related to the innate immune response, and by the pathogenicity of the specific variant, especially its ability to infect and induce syncytia formation at the lower respiratory tract. The cumulative risk of long COVID as well as of various cardiac, pulmonary, or neurological complications increases proportionally to the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections, primarily in the elderly. Therefore, the number of long COVID cases is expected to remain high in the future. Reinfections apparently increase the likelihood of long COVID, but less so if they are mild or asymptomatic as in children and adolescents. Strategies to prevent SARS-CoV-2 reinfections are urgently needed, primarily among older adults who have a higher burden of comorbidities. Follow-up studies using an established case definition and precise diagnostic criteria of long COVID in people with or without reinfection may further elucidate the contribution of SARS-CoV-2 reinfections to the long COVID burden. Although accumulating evidence supports vaccination, both before and after the SARS-CoV-2 infection, as a preventive strategy to reduce the risk of long COVID, more robust comparative observational studies, including randomized trials, are needed to provide conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of vaccination in preventing or mitigating long COVID in all age groups. Thankfully, answers not only on the prevention, but also on treatment options and rates of recovery from long COVID are gradually starting to emerge.

101 viewsCategory: Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology
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