Researchers at London hospitals call for urgent new treatments for persistent infections
The infections typically persisted for 10 weeks or so, but two patients had the virus for more than a year. In addition to the patient who was infected for 505 days, a second has so far tested positive for 412 days and may exceed the 505-day record at their next follow-up appointment. Last summer, doctors in Bristol revealed that a 72-year-old patient, Dave Smith, had tested positive for nearly 10 months.
Genetic analyses revealed that in five of the nine patients, the virus acquired at least one mutation found in the variants of concern that are prone to drive major waves of disease. The virus obtained from the patient who was infected for 505 days carried 10 mutations that arose separately in several major variants including Alpha, Gamma and Omicron.