Dutch Man with Compromised Immune System Infected with Coronavirus for Record 613 Days

Immunocompromised Dutch man infected with COVID-19 for 613 days, virus mutated over 50 times before his death, highlighting the risk of new immune-evasive variants emerging in such cases.

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Justice Nwafor
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Dutch Man with Compromised Immune System Infected with Coronavirus for Record 613 Days

Dutch Man with Compromised Immune System Infected with Coronavirus for Record 613 Days

In 2022, a 72-year-old Dutch man with a compromised immune system due to bone marrow disease and lymphoma was infected with the coronavirus for an unprecedented 613 days. During this time, the virus mutated over 50 times in his body before he ultimately died from his underlying conditions.

The patient was diagnosed with the omicron variant in February 2022 and was unable to produce enough white blood cells or antibodies to combat the virus, despite receiving multiple vaccine doses. Doctors found that the patient's body had become resistant to a monoclonal antibody treatment, and his immune system was incapable of clearing the virus.

Researchers from the Amsterdam University Medical Centers studied this case and will present their findings at a medical conference in Barcelona next week. They repeatedly analyzed the virus's genetic material and found mutations that could allow the virus to evade the immune system.

Why this matters: This case highlights the risk of new immune-evasive SARS-CoV-2 variants emerging in immunocompromised patients. The extensive development of the virus in a single patient could lead to the emergence of unique variants that are less susceptible to the immune systems of healthy people.

The researchers warn that it is vital to closely monitor the coronavirus's evolution in immunocompromised individuals. They emphasize the importance of continuing genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 evolution in immunocompromised patients with persistent infections, as this case underlines the risk of such infections.

The patient passed away in the fall of 2023 due to his weakened immune system and underlying blood disorder. While there was no evidence that the mutated virus was transmitted to others, the researchers stress the pressing need to closely monitor the evolution of COVID-19 in immunocompromised individuals and the critical importance of ongoing surveillance and vigilance in combating the pandemic.

Key Takeaways

  • 72-yr-old Dutch man infected with COVID-19 for 613 days, virus mutated 50+ times.
  • Patient had compromised immune system, unable to produce antibodies despite vaccines.
  • Virus became resistant to monoclonal antibody treatment, patient ultimately died.
  • Case highlights risk of new immune-evasive COVID variants in immunocompromised patients.
  • Ongoing genomic surveillance of COVID in immunocompromised is crucial to combat pandemic.