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Human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) and long COVID

Dr Elisa Oltra and colleagues at the Catholic University of Valencia in Spain have recently completed their ME Research UK-funded study looking at the link between HERVs (retroviruses contained with the human genome) and the development of ME/CFS.

We will report the findings of this research as it is published in the scientific literature in the coming months. But in the meantime it is a good opportunity to highlight Dr Oltra’s long-COVID paper from 2022 which used some early data from this study (and for which ME Research UK was therefore acknowledged as having supported).

Essentially, the researchers detected a pro-inflammatory HERV protein in more than half of patients with post-COVID symptoms, suggesting a potential role in at least some individuals.

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