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    Enigma of Long COVID

    New Polish study uncovers the link between low nucleocapsid antibodies and heightened long COVID risk, pointing to potential treatment and prevention strategies.

    In a breakthrough study, Polish researchers have delved into the intricate relationship between the antibody response to the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and the emergence of long COVID.

    “We know that this phenomenon may affect more than 10 percent of those infected with SARS-CoV-2. This translates to a vast number of people and costs, considering the scale of virus spread within the human population. Unfortunately, we still lack established therapeutic procedures,” says Dr. hab. Piotr Rzymski, Professor at the Poznań University of Medical Sciences, one of the authors of the study whose results were presented a few days ago at the ESCMID Global in Barcelona, Spain – the largest and most prestigious congress dedicated to microbiology and infectious diseases.

    “Long COVID is an intriguing but challenging phenomenon to investigate. Its etiology and the profile of accompanying symptoms are complex. It’s essentially a constellation of various conditions with a converging cause, which is the experience of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

    Pooling expertise from multiple universities, scientists conducted an in-depth analysis of 200 individuals who experienced persistent post-COVID symptoms. Their investigation unveiled three distinct phenotypes: respiratory, cardiac, and psychiatric.

    A noteworthy discovery emerged as participants grappling with long COVID displayed markedly lower levels of IgG antibodies targeting the nucleocapsid. Strikingly, this deficiency independently doubled the risk of developing long COVID.

    This revelation regarding the significance of nucleocapsid antibodies could potentially pave the way for innovative therapeutic interventions or preventive measures, thereby bolstering the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

    As researchers delve deeper into the immunological intricacies, there arises a promising avenue for exploring broader immunization strategies that may offer enhanced protection against the debilitating repercussions of long COVID.

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