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Reports Indicate Remdesivir-Resistant COVID Strains Emerging


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Recent reports and case studies show COVID-19 is building resistance to the controversial drug remdesivir.

Manufactured by Gilead, remdesivir is the only FDA-approved antiviral drug used to treat COVID-19 patients.

WLT has reported on the detrimental side effects of remdesivir and the financial incentives for hospitals to administer the drug.

Emerging remdesivir-resistant strains would be good news, considering the dangers of remdesivir reported by doctors such as Bryan Ardis.

While my thoughts are hopeful, maybe these reports suggest the elimination of remdesivir as the gold-standard treatment in hospital protocols.

Forbes explained:

Coronavirus mutations which exhibit resistance to the antiviral drug remdesivir were detected in an immunocompromised patient who had previously been treated with the drug, researchers have found, raising concerns about the possible emergence of more drug resistant versions of Covid-19 in patients who face persistent illness.

In a preprint study published on Medrxiv, researchers found that a woman in her 70s who had been treated with the drug had failed to completely clear her Covid-19 infection for several months.

A genetic examination of the virus showed that it had mutated during treatment in a manner that reduced the effectiveness of the antiviral drug, manufactured by Gilead.

According to Professor Akiko Iwasaki, one of the study’s authors, remdesivir initially brought the patient’s viral load down but it rose again during the course of the remdesivir treatment.

The persistent infection was eventually successfully treated using monoclonal antibodies, according to the study.

The woman who exhibited the mutation was immunocompromised as she had previously been treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The Forbes article suggests that remdesivir is effective against COVID-19, but it conveniently forgets to mention the drug’s life-threatening side effects.

This case report study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases documents side effects of remdesivir:

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been identified as the virus responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak worldwide. Data on treatment are scare and parallels have been made between SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum antiviral with efficient in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2. Evidence of clinical improvement in patients with severe COVID-19 treated with remdesivir is controversial. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical outcomes and virological monitoring of the first five COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit of Bichat-Claude Bernard University Hospital, Paris, France, for severe pneumonia related to SARS-CoV-2 and treated with remdesivir. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR was used to monitor SARS-CoV-2 in blood plasma and the lower and upper respiratory tract. Among the five patients treated, two needed mechanical ventilation and one needed high-flow cannula oxygen. A significant decrease in SARS-CoV-2 viral load in the upper respiratory tract was observed in most cases, but two patients died with active SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lower respiratory tract. Plasma samples were positive for SARS-CoV-2 in only one patient. Remdesivir was interrupted before the initially planned duration in four patients, two because of alanine aminotransferase elevations (3 to 5 normal range) and two because of renal failure requiring renal replacement. This case series of five COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care unit treatment for respiratory distress and treated with remdesivir, highlights the complexity of remdesivir use in such critically ill patients.

TrialSite News provided additional coverage for the emergence of remdesivir-resistant strains:

With the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 driving a new wave of cases around the globe, news that the virus is becoming resistant to the first approved anti-COVID drug is adding to concerns. While several treatments have Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), Remdesivir is currently the only FDA-approved antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 in hospitals. But lab tests and case studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is developing resistance against the drug. This adds to the deep controversy surrounding remdesivir, which TrialSite has been following. The World Health Organization (WHO) previously declared the drug to have no effect on mortality in COVID-19 patients, and a separate French study also found it to show little benefit to hospitalized patients.



 

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