Researchers have discovered that a patient with a Coronavirus mutation was resistant to the antiviral drug Remdesivir. This raises concerns about the possibility of Covid-19 becoming more resistant in patients with persistent illnesses.
Remdesivir was one of the first drugs to be approved for treatment of Covid-19 in hospitalized patients. Belga/AFP via Getty Images
The Key Facts
Researchers published a preprint study on Medrxiv that found that a 70-year-old woman who was treated with the drug failed to clear her Covid-19 infection after several months. The virus had mutated in treatment, according to a genetic analysis. This reduced the effectiveness of Gilead's antiviral drug. Professor Akiko Iwasaki (one of the authors of the study) said that remdesivir initially reduced the patient's viral load, but it increased again during treatment. According to the study, monoclonal antibodies were used to treat the persistent infection. The mutation in the woman was found to be immunocompromised after she had been treated for nonHodgkin’s lymphoma.
The preprint stated that the case "illustrates the importance monitoring for remdesivir resistant and the potential benefits of combinatorial treatments in immunocompromised people with SARS-CoV-2 infections," as the study's authors.
0.003% Professor Iwasaki tweeted that this is the percentage of cases from 4.1million genome sequences taken from patients who showed the mutation. It indicates that such cases are still extremely rare.
Remdesivir, which was developed by Gilead Sciences, was approved as a hospital drug to treat Covid-19. Although the drug's effectiveness has not been fully established, it has been administered intravenously to moderate Covid-19 symptoms in hospitalized patients. The World Health Organization, in November 2020, recommended against the use the drug in Covid-19 patients. They noted that there was no evidence that remdesivir increases survival or other outcomes.
Mutation Found in Remdesivir Resistant Covid Patient (Bloomberg).
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