What can neuroimmunology teach us about the symptoms of long-COVID?

Oxf Open Immunol. 2021 Feb 10;2(1):iqab004. doi: 10.1093/oxfimm/iqab004. eCollection 2021.


Long-Coronavirus Disease (Long-COVID) is becoming increasingly recognized due to the persistence of symptoms such as profound fatigue, neurocognitive difficulties, muscle pains and weaknesses and depression, which would last beyond 3-12 weeks following infection with SARS-CoV-2. These particular symptoms have been extensively observed and studied in the context of previous psychoneuroimmunology research. In this short commentary, we discuss how previous neuroimmunology studies could help us to better understand pathways behind the development of these prolonged symptoms. Various mechanisms, including viral neuroinvasion, glial cells activation, neurogenesis, oxidative stress have been shown to explain these symptoms in the context of other disorders. Previous neuroimmunology findings could represent helpful pointers for future research on long-COVID symptoms and suggest potential management strategies for patients suffering with long-COVID.

Keywords: COVID-19; depression; fatigue; long-COVID; microglia; neuroimmunology.