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Thread: A permanent reservoir for many viruses infecting humans: Transplant and HIV patients, and others who are immunocompromised.

  1. #1 A permanent reservoir for many viruses infecting humans: Transplant and HIV patients, and others who are immunocompromised. 
    Forum Junior Double Helix's Avatar
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    Attempts to eliminate the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 currently infesting the planet are not likely to be successful. There are millions of immunocompromised people just in the U.S. alone. Doubtless there are a vast number world-wide. For the current coronavirus in particular, these people all have the ability not only to prevent vaccines from eliminating it from the world, but also to serve as a continuous source of mutants, constantly being formed in their bodies. Some of these people live like nothing has happened following infection, or perish from it, or anything in between. Those that survive are human Petri dishes for "viral experimentation" via mutation, and possibly getting nastier.

    Keep in mind that HIV is a long-term carrier state for those who have contracted it, providing a reservoir for it indefinitely with chemo-suppressants. The bottom line for this problem : If many of these people cannot clear a virus by infection, vaccines, etc., they may never eliminate it, providing an endless supply of new variants which may cause another round of pandemics, or not. Much depends on how pathogenic these mutants are. Only one immunocompromised individual could be a super producer and provide, by many mutations, a much more nasty strain, one that might continue to plague us into the future. And that is only one patient out of millions.

    So these people represent a refuge for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses since the immune system of these patients are typically not robust and capable of full elimination of the virus, allowing it to slowly replicate without significant symptoms. It is the same means by which it evades elimination in bats. This is why low levels of coronaviruses persist in bat populations.

    An excellent article from Forbes * provides some insight into the nature of this problem, and how pervasive it could be at maintaining a threat for another pandemic indefinitely, even if most of the world is inoculated. Since there are already a number of coronaviruses infecting humans that yield common cold symptoms, and cannot be eradicated either, we have a definite appreciation that this would not be an anomaly. Indeed, it would seem to be an anomaly if the virus did not persist globally for a long time to come.


    "Coronavirus Variants Are Evolving, Even In A Single Person"

    * https://www.forbes.com/sites/jvchama...h=62653e2d1dbb


    (Forbes is a great source for some amazingly accurate and advanced science. To do a search for something, type in the search item, then include the tag end line: "forbes.com". If they have an article on what you are looking for, it can be very useful.)


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