Today I’m speaking with Professor Danny Altmann from Imperial College about Covid-19 and the post viral syndrome associated with its infection currently referred to as “Long Covid”. Not a lot is known about this chronic condition which for some people is absolutely debilitating, it could affect 500,000 people in the UK or more and we really need to further research this condition and build the infrastructure to tackle it.
Professor Altmann heads a lab at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus of Imperial. Key research interests are the immunology of infectious disease including severe bacterial infections, Zika virus and Chikungunya virus. Other projects focus on autoimmune disease including the role of the microbiota in rheumatoid arthritis.
Today we refresh our memories about what we know about covid:
- Danny gives us a quick recap on the immune system
- How the virus enters cells via the ACE-2 receptor which is found on multiple sites of the body
- The inflammasome, why it’s useful and what goes wrong with covid
- The >50 symptoms of long covid including fatigue, headache, loss of attention and SOB
- The theoretical mechanisms of long covid – multi organ fibrosis, persistent undetected infection, AI/inflammatory conditions
- The parallels with other post viral syndromes such as EBV and post Ebola
- Diagnostic uncertainty in Medicine
- Vaccine and Variants
- The different types of Antibodies