If people who have compromised immune systems become infected with Covid, the virus may persist for prolonged periods, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Keeping someone’s immune response damped down is necessary when someone gets an organ transplant, but Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins, says it may also allow the virus to remain active for prolonged periods of time.

Segev: In somebody with a healthy immune system, if they should happen to get Covid their immune system kicks in, they develop antibodies against that Covid, they develop all sorts of other immune responses, and they get rid of that virus. If you are immunocompromised you may not be able to mount that kind of an immune response in general, and so maybe you’ll get over the severe symptoms of the disease but that disease can linger because you can’t kill it with your immune system.  :30

Segev is working on vaccination strategies for people who are on medicines to keep their immune response under control, and notes that for those who’ve had Covid reducing their medicines to allow them to clear the virus appeared safe. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.