Epstein-Barr virus belongs to the herpes virus family and is one of the most common human viruses. Infections are common in childhood and usually cause mild symptoms during this time. The virus then enters a period of delay.
The lead author of the study is Jeffrey E. Schmidt, a researcher at the U.S. Environmental Group World Organization. Gold and his colleagues found that Epstein-Barr virus was reactivated in two-thirds of 68 patients with symptoms. Only 10% of patients in the control group were tested compared.
This is an interesting hypothesis, but incomplete dr One of the leading experts in chronic COVID in Quebec is Alain Piche, an expert from the Center Hospitalier University de Sherbrooke.
“I say this is the eternal question of the egg and the chicken: is it a cause or a consequence? Can having chronic COVID reactivate the Epstein-Barr virus, and then reactivation is unrelated to the symptoms, or is the Epstein-Bar reactivated so we have symptoms?” ? »Askedr Piche.
The study also did not reveal when Epstein-Barr virus was reactivated in these patients, for example if it occurred before bedtime with SARS-CoV-2, a-
There is a comparable phenomenon about vitamin D, D recalledr Piche. Most patients with chronic COVID have low levels of vitamin D, but it is not known if this is the cause or consequence of the disease.
“In patients with symptoms of chronic COVID, do the signs of Epstein-Barr virus reactivation disappear?” Askedr Piche. Although the patient does not have many symptoms, there are still signs that there is a causal relationship between the two, even if there are signs of reactivation of the Epstein-Barr virus. “
The track is still intriguing. We can read the example On the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website Some people infected with the Epstein-Barr virus may experience “many weeks or months” of fatigue. Patients with chronic COVID very often report fatigue.
In addition, the CDC site adds that people with a weakened immune system (for example, because it is already battling another infection) are more likely to show symptoms if the Epstein-Barr virus is reactivated.
“There are still a lot of unknowns,” Dr. Piche warned, and a prospective longitudinal study is needed to deepen this hypothesis.
“Until then, I think it’s too early to say that the activation of the Epstein-Barr virus is responsible for the symptoms of chronic COVID,” he said. This is interesting, it opens up new avenues, but good studies are needed to validate this hypothesis at this stage. “