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Lingering SARS-CoV-2 in Gastric and Gallbladder Tissues of Patients with Previous COVID-19 Infection Undergoing Bariatric Surgery 2022 Hany et al

Discussion in 'Epidemics (including Covid-19, not Long Covid)' started by Andy, Nov 1, 2022.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK
    Lingering severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in gut tissue might be a source of infection during bariatric surgery. This study aimed to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid in gastric and gallbladder tissues removed during bariatric surgery in individuals previously infected with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had negative polymerase chain reaction results prior to the surgery.

    Gastric and gallbladder specimens from 80 patients who underwent bariatric surgery between November 2021 and May 2022 and had a history of COVID-19 infection with gastrointestinal symptoms were examined for the presence of lingering SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid proteins using immunohistochemistry.

    Gastric specimens from 26 (32.5%) patients and 4 (100%) cholecystectomy specimens showed positive cytoplasmic staining for the anti-SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein in surface mucosal epithelial cells. The mean age was 37.8 ± 10.3 years. The average body mass index was 44.2 ± 7.0 kg/m2; most of the patients were females (71.3%). The positive staining group was significantly younger than the negative staining group (p = 0.007). The full-dose vaccination rate was 58.8%, with a median of 91 days after the last vaccine dose. A positive serological anti-spike IgG response was observed in 99% of the patients. The median time between initial COVID-19 infection and surgery was 274 and 380 days in the positive and negative staining groups, respectively (p = 0.371).

    Gastric and gallbladder tissues can retain SARS-CoV-2 particles for a long time after COVID-19 infection, handling stomach specimens from patients during an operation must be done with care, as we usually do, but now with the knowledge that in 1/3 of patients they can be present. Performing LSG on post-COVID patients did not seem to increase perioperative morbidity.

    Open access, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11695-022-06338-9
  2. BrightCandle

    BrightCandle Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    For such an invasive test 80 patients is a pretty good size for this type of study. Alas I feel that 30% of patients with confirmed Covid 19 in the removed material leads more evidence to viral persistence but its not the 80%-90%+ we would hope for to identify cause. Since the removals didn't seem to help the patients it does seem its not the "cause". More viral persistence evidence, not a smoking gun for gastrointestinal cause of Long Covid and too low a percentage to say viral persistence is the cause in everyone or even related.

    I am struggling to see how we prove viral persistence at this stage without doing extensive post mortums on every single Long hauler that dies (which could take decades) and finding how likely it is in various spots in the body.
    alktipping, RedFox and Peter Trewhitt like this.

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