A CORONAVIRUS patient who tested positive for 411 days has finally gotten rid of the virus.
Doctors have hailed a cocktail of drugs used to treat the 59-year-old man.
Writing in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, medics in the UK said the patient had struggled to get rid of an early variant of the bug.
The patient had a weakened immune system after having a kidney transplant.
Medics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, and King’s College London said the man is thought to be one of the longest living patients with a persistent Covid infection.
A previous patient treated by the same team tested positive for Covid for 505 days but subsequently died.
And back in February, another man detailed how he had been isolating for 14 months, after testing positive for the virus for 78 days in a row.
In this most recent case, the man had first tested positive in December 2020.
While his symptoms went away, he continued to test positive intermittently until January 2020.
In order to help treat the patient – medics detected the man’s ongoing infection by analysing the genetics of the strain of the virus he was carrying.
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He was then given a cocktail of neutralising antibodies (Regeneron) known to be effective against early coronavirus variants, which finally allowed his body to get rid of Covid.
It’s highly likely that the patient had the original Alpha strain of the virus.
The variant currently in circulation in the UK, Omicron is milder than those that came before it and many people have now had a vaccine which also helps protect against severe illness.
But due to the changing nature of the virus, experts said that these antibody treatments are now largely ineffective.
Dr Luke Snell, from Guy’s & St Thomas’, said: “Some new variants of the virus are resistant to all the antibody treatments available in the UK and Europe.
“Some people with weakened immune systems are still at risk of severe illness and becoming persistently infected. We are still working to understand the best way to protect and treat them.”
The ineffectiveness of such drugs had previously been cited as a reason as to why thousands of vulnerable Brits have been unable to get their hands on ‘life-saving’ drug Evusheld.
Evusheld will give the vulnerable some protection against the virus.
It’s made by AstraZeneca and was approved by the medicines regulator in March.
Since then it’s also become available in 30 other countries.
Despite its widespread use, the UK government said it won’t buy more doses until it has more data.
This is due to concerns of how well it will work against the Omicron variant that is currently circulating in the UK.
The Department of Health previously said it’s urgently looking into commissioning a clinical trial for the drug.