Long Covid and the Vascular Endothelium

Infection with SARS-CoV2 infection often involves the vascular endothelium, resulting in a variety of deleterious effects. Among these is endothelial dysfunction, distinct from endothelial injury, in which the vascular endothelium loses elasticity and the ability to vasodilate and vasoconstrict. It constitutes a type of non-obstructive coronary artery disease and is generally associated with impaired production…

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Why Are Omicron Variants Less Lethal?

Omicron-derived SARS-CoV2 variants (exemplified most recently by XBB1.5(1)) are highly adept at evading immunity against vaccines and infection with previous variants and many parts of the world are currently experiencing high infection rates, yet deaths and hospitalizations have not proportionally increased. Why is this? Could previous waves have already killed those most vulnerable? Has increased…

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Vaccine and Post-Infection Immunity

Immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is acquired in two ways, infection and vaccination. How do they differ? Which is ‚Äúbetter‚ÄĚ? In comparisons, consideration must be given to rates of infection, transmission, hospitalization, death, and long COVID as well as innate, humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. The only correlate of protection that is currently considered robust is the…

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Covid Alteration of the Gut Microbiome: A Factor in Long Covid?

October 6, 2022 In a previous Perspective we considered the relationship between Covid pathology and the gut microbiome. Since then, new studies have shed additional light on the topic. We will consider these new findings, including whether dysregulation of the microbiome might be related to long Covid. INTRODUCTION As we pointed out previously, there is…

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Is Infection of Astrocytes a Causative Factor in COVID Brain Fog? 

September 12, 2022¬† INTRODUCTION¬† One of the prominent¬†symptoms¬†of COVID-19, especially long COVID, is called ‚Äúbrain fog‚ÄĚ, which¬†includes deficits in attention and concentration, memory, and executive¬†function. This raises the question of¬†the cause. One possibility is¬†that it is¬†only an¬†indirect effect¬†from dysregulated immune activity¬†and/or inflammation. A second possibility is¬†that it is due to¬†direct infection of¬†cell populations within the…

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Further Thoughts on Viral Persistence

August 2, 2022¬† INTRODUCTION¬† Our previous Perspectives focused on the question of whether persistent cryptic expression of virus might be contributory to long COVID. To further consider this question, it may be useful to look at examples of persistence by other viruses. DNA VIRUSES The clearest and most easily understood examples of persistence are found…

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Could Viral Persistence Explain Long COVID? 

Author: Dr. ReitzJune 30, 2022¬† INTRODUCTION  One serious aspect of Covid is what has been called ‚Äėlong Covid‚ÄĚ, in which various symptoms can persist for as long as a year or more. These can include fatigue, brain fog, loss of taste and/or smell, and cardiovascular problems. There are two schools of thought on the cause, although…

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Impact of the Omicron Variants on the Ongoing Pandemic

May 10, 2022 INTRODUCTION  The emergence of the Omicron variant in November 2021 has led to a rapid surge of COVID-19 cases worldwide. Since then, Omicron has kept evolving into several different sublineages. Furthermore, recombinant Omicron variants have been detected in patients by coinfection with the two such sublineages, as well as with the delta…

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Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators (SPMS) as Potential COVID-19 Therapeutic

April 21, 2022 INTRODUCTION  Our last Perspective described how the timing of the type 1 interferon (IFN) response is a critical early point in determining whether infection with SARS-CoV2 will lead to severe disease or not. IFN activity later in infection, when disease has already developed, is apparently ineffective, and is instead detrimental. Indeed, an…

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Impact of Interferon on Disease Severity of COVID-19

March 28, 2022 INTRODUCTION  Types 1 and 3 interferon (IFN) expression and activity have been shown to play a significant role in determining the disease severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is becoming clear that the timing of IFN expression is critical in the efficacy of the early response to viral infection on reducing disease severity.…

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