Long Covid: Viral fragments found in the body months after initial infection

Coronavirus, Genome, Health, Infection, Long Covid, Reservoir, Testing, Transmission

Two teams have recently published results suggesting that pieces of SARS-CoV-2 can linger in the gut for months after an initial infection. The findings add to a growing pool of evidence supporting the hypothesis that persistent bits of virus — coronavirus “ghosts”, could contribute to the mysterious condition called long COVID.

An early hint that the coronavirus might persist in the body came in work published in 2021 by gastroenterologist Saurabh Mehandru at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and his colleagues. By then, it was clear that cells lining the gut display the protein that the virus uses to enter cells. This allows SARS-CoV-2 to infect the gut.

Nature magazine article: Coronavirus ‘ghosts’ found lingering in the gut



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Image courtesy of NIAID