Researchers in South Africa have been documenting cases of HIV-positive women who have been infected with COVID-19 for months. and saw that the virus had mutated in her
The woman, 36, became ill for the first time in September 2020 and has been tested positive for more than seven months.
Moreover The virus that persisted in her body still undergoes more than 30 genetic alterations.
A team from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban It said the findings are the first real evidence that untreated HIV-infected patients can have a defective immune system. This allows the coronavirus to take root and mutate into potentially deadly strains. which can spread to others
A 36-year-old South African woman with uncontrolled HIV contracted COVID-19 in September 2020 and has been infected for seven months. Pictured: A retiree receives the first dose of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in Johannes. Berg, South Africa, May 24
Six months after she fell ill Two-thirds of the medications she took to treat her HIV were switched. and after her viral load was suppressed She eventually tested negative for COVID-19 (above).
The United Nations currently estimates that 7.5 million adults and children in South Africa are infected with HIV. (Immune Deficiency Virus)
when a person is infected with HIV The virus then begins to attack and destroy immune cells that normally protect the body from infection. and can lead to AIDS that can be deadly.
In South Africa, HIV infection is often undetected and nearly 10 percent of people believe they don’t know they have the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HIV patients who receive effective treatment are not at higher risk of contracting the virus or having more serious complications.
However, the findings from a study posted on the preprint website medRxiv.org are the first evidence that people with HIV can have the virus mutated multiple times in their bodies.
This South African patient was diagnosed with HIV in 2006, but doctors were unable to control her traditional viral load. antiviral therapy
A combination or ‘cocktail’ of drugs suppresses a person’s viral load until it is undetectable. This means that the infection cannot be transmitted.
This woman has very low CD4+ T levels, which help the body produce antibodies and help CD8+ T cells kill coronavirus-infected cells.
The woman was admitted to the hospital in September 2020 after symptoms including coughing, sore throat and difficulty breathing for 12 days.
She tested positive for COVID-19, received oxygen and was released after nine days.
However, even after leaving the hospital The test result still came back positive. which continued for 216 days
The researchers found that the virus undergoes 32 genetic changes, 13 of which are linked to the spike protein. The virus uses it to enter cells and infect them.
The researchers found that the virus had 32 mutations inside her body (above), including 13 changes in the barrier proteins that the virus uses to enter cells.
other mutations They are similar to those found in the variables. including the alpha variable (from UK) and beta variants (from South Africa)
during this time The woman was one of 300 participants enrolled in the research study. Finally, an infection could be cleared that explores the impact of HIV on coronavirus infection.
Six months into her research, two drugs in her ‘cocktail’ have changed. and within two weeks Her viral load was suppressed.
Finally, on day 233 after the first test positive. She eventually tested negative.
It’s too early to tell if the woman was a special case, but if not, it could mean that uncontrolled HIV-infected patients could spread potentially life-threatening infections.
Dr. Tulio Deoliviera, lead author, geneticist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. told the Los Angeles Times that they could ‘become a factory of diversity for the world’.
He added that expanding HIV testing and treatment. ‘will reduce mortality from HIV reduce HIV transmission and reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19 A new strain that could cause another wave of infection.’