Study finds how persistent lung disease develops long after the virus has been cleared

By:-Anupam Singh Sengar

Short-term lung infections can cause long-term lung damage, according to a recent study. The study’s findings were published in the journal ‘Journal of Clinical Investigation.’ In some cases, the most dangerous part of a viral respiratory infection occurs after the virus has been removed from the body. Destructive processes that begin during an infection reach a peak in the weeks following the virus’s defeat, resulting in organ damage that can lead to chronic disease or death.

Following an initial bout of COVID-19, some patients experience a chronic cough, trouble breathing, and shortness of breath, all of which are symptoms of continuing lung damage. Researchers of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have discovered new information on how lung damage occurs following a respiratory illness. They discovered that infection causes the development of a protein called IL-33, which is required for lung stem cells to overgrow into air gaps, resulting in increased mucus production and inflammation.

The data indicated possible intervention areas to prevent viral infections from causing persistent lung damage. “Vaccines, antivirals, and antibody treatments are all beneficial, but they are not a cure for patients who are already sick,” stated senior author Michael J. Holtzman, MD, Professor of cell biology and physiology and the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine has said  “We’ve become better at treating COVID-19-related acute sickness,” Holtzman noted, “but what happens beyond that initial damage phase remains a big roadblock to a better result.

They said they are also dealing with tens of millions of individuals who have already been infected, with a significant number of them developing long-term illness, particularly respiratory problems. We don’t have a therapy that will fix the issue ”” Holtzman added. Acute respiratory infections have long been known to cause chronic lung disease