Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and Long COVID.

Long COVID Clinic Studies

The newly established clinic in Uppsala will continue the work of the OMF-Funded MultiCenter Collaborative Study on COVID to ME/CFS progression.

  • Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD, Prof, Director ScD
  • IRB protocol has been approved.
  • Clinic for recruitment opened at BMC (CRC Uppsala) and recruitment is underway.

Study A:

    • Samples from approx. 30 patients ready.

Study B:

    • Samples from approx. 50 patients ready.
STUDY HYPOTHESIS AND DESCRIPTION

The clinic provides an opportunity to continue studying  the disease process as it develops, and hopefully better understand ME/CFS.  A subset of the previously critically ill patients will be monitored for disease progression over time alongside non-critically ill Long Covid patients who will also visit the clinic for continuing symptoms.

As with the previous study investigators will use genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and immunology to recover as many immune cells as possible, and to characterize their evolution to ME/CFS. Furthermore, we are studying the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to identify proteins and large molecules (e.g., antibodies) as well as small molecules that appear or disappear in association with the development of ME/CFS.

OBJECTIVES

3D illustration of COVID floating in a liquid

Study A:

  • Recruit approximately 50 patients with confirmed mild COVID infection (confirmed by antibody analysis or positive PCR test) and long-term symptoms over 12 weeks after infection, recruited via Postcovid clinic. 50 gender- and age-matched controls who have undergone confirmed COVID infection but who have no long-term symptoms or sequelae of the infection are invited. 
  • Patients and controls will be asked to perform various psychometric tests and complete questionnaires: Fatigue severity scale FSS, MADRS, MOCA test, 1 minute sit-to stand test, orthostatic test, RAND-36, BANS, EQ-5D- SL and DePaul’s PEMS scale.
  • Patients and controls should leave a total of 30 ml of EDTA plasma tube. lsolated blood cells (PBMC) as well as extracted DNA and RNA will be analyzed at SciLife Labs Technology Platform for Sequencing for sequencing of the entire transcriptome. 
  • Run proteomics using high ­resolution mass spectrometry and metabolomics analysis using high-resolution mass spectrometry and NMR. Alternatively, we can supplement the protein analysis with an inflammatory Olink panel.

Study B:

  • Study persistent symptoms after 24 and 36 months in patients (selected from the COMBAT study, 150 in total) after mild confirmed covid-19 infection and how the possible symptoms affect the daily activities and ability to work as well as sick leave. 
  • Study whether patients with persistent symptoms have affected physical ability and muscle strength 
  • Study whether those patients with persistent symptoms have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers (proteins, metabolites) and/ or autoantibodies compared to those without symptoms at the time 24 months after mild covid-19. 
  • Identify whether people with persistent symptoms 24 months after covid-19 have any specific HLA types in comparison with those who have no symptoms at the time of 24 months. 
  • Study how the intestinal microbiome is affected by mild infection compared to a healthy control group and in some individuals compared to baseline. We will receive biobank samples for a healthy control group from the SCAPIS (Swedish Cardiopulmonary bio-Image study) study.