June 20, 2024

After Two Years: Long COVID Patients Experience Enhanced Immune System Recovery

New research offers promising signs for long COVID sufferers, with a significant portion of patients showing improvement in immune system function after two years.

This data comes from Australia’s ADAPT study, which has been tracking COVID-19 patients since the pandemic’s early days. Back in 2022, the study found evidence of lingering immune system problems in long COVID patients eight months after infection. This finding resonated with many patients who had struggled to get their condition recognised.

Since then, our understanding of long COVID’s effects on various organs and body functions has grown considerably. There’s also been progress in detecting long COVID through blood tests, raising hopes for potential treatments.

The latest ADAPT data adds to this optimism. “Blood markers suggesting abnormal immune function have mostly resolved” in a significant portion of the study group after two years, says Dr Chansavath Phetsouphanh, the study’s lead author. These markers reflect various aspects of the immune system’s response, including antibodies to the virus and cells that fight off infections.

While these improvements are encouraging news for many, some patients haven’t seen any change. Researchers believe these cases could have different underlying causes, not all related to the immune system. The ADAPT study’s rich data will be crucial in further exploring these variations.

It’s important to note that this study focused on a specific group and may not apply to everyone with long COVID, such as those vaccinated, infected with later variants, or who had severe illness.

Professor Anthony Kelleher, who directs the study, emphasises the positive outlook: “For most people with long COVID, symptoms and immune markers improve over time. We’ll keep researching why some don’t improve and how to help them.”

This research offers a glimmer of hope for long COVID sufferers. While some may continue to experience challenges, many appear to be on a path to recovery.

Source: https://weather.com/