Scientists from the Yale School of Medicine (USA) have identified a remdesivir-resistant variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. According to an article published in the journal Nature Communications, the virus was isolated in an immuno-compromised patient who was taking an antiviral drug.
The patient is known to be 70 years old. Her health first improved and then deteriorated again while taking the drug.
This discovery raises concerns about the emergence of drug resistance in patients with COVID-19, especially in those who are immuno-compromised and whose recovery depends on the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.
Researchers found that the virus’ replication enzyme, nsp12 polymerase, had mutated, making SARS-CoV-2 resistant to remdesivir treatment.
The 70-year-old patient’s infection was beaten with combination therapy with monoclonal bodies, casirivimab and imdevimab. The extent of the risk of virus resistance to other antiviral agents remains unclear.
According to the researchers, the patient had previously been treated for stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was in remission at the time of her COVID-19 diagnosis.