The Long Covid Mystery Has a New Suspect – Wired Magazine
Wired Magazine recently interviewed Dr Elizabeth Mann and Dr Laurence Pearmain about their paper published in the European Respiratory Journal on Long Covid and the link between abnormal immune cells known as monocytes and lung injury – resulting in long-lasting and frustrating symptoms like breathlessness.
When the team looked at blood samples from patients who had recovered from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) or flu, they didn’t find the increased CXCR6 on monocytes that was characteristic of long Covid patients. Mann thinks that this demonstrates how monocytes in long Covid become abnormal during the acute infection and don’t recover, meaning that they persist in being drawn into the lungs and cause inflammation.
This could be what leads to something like breathlessness longer term. “You need monocyte migration to go and clear the infection,” Mann says. “Once you’ve recovered, you’d hope that it goes back to normal—but it doesn’t, it seems to just stay dysregulated.”
You can read the interview here