SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein seems to linger in body of long COVID patients
A study by researchers at Harvard has identified the presence of SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein in the blood of long COVID patients up to 1 year after infection, but not in people who fully recovered from the disease.
The study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, involved 37 long COVID patients and 26 patients in a control group. According to the researchers, the findings indicate that lingering clusters of the virus may be activating the immune system in some people, resulting in inflammation, blood clots, and other complications.
Several physicians and researchers are working together to examine the viral persistence associated with long COVID and hope to raise $100 million to develop treatments. Called the Long COVID Research Initiative (LCRI), the group is run by the PolyBio Research Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Mercer Island, WA, that specializes in complex chronic inflammatory diseases. LCRI says it has received a pledge of $15 million from Balvi, an investment and direct giving fund.