Post COVID-19 Syndrome: Inflammatory Indicators in a cohort of recovered COVID-19 patients to assess the role of continued Inflammatory process amongst SARS-CoV-2 infection survivors

This study will identify a group of individuals from Harare Public Health facilities in Zimbabwe that have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and follow them up to four months to determine long COVID-19 status. Participants will be recruited from patients receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis, above 18 years of age, and who provide informed consent in writing. A questionnaire will be used to collect participant demographics and clinical data. Appropriate blood samples and washings from the lungs will be collected for inflammatory marker profiling in the laboratory. Participants will be classified as “long COVID” in this study if they are symptomatic for more than 12 weeks or if their symptoms reappear by end of a four-month follow-up. Statistical tools will be used to test if the study findings are significant when comparing long and short COVID-19 groups. In summary, Nhidza and her team will attempt to answer the question, “Are inflammatory marker profiles at time of COVID-19 diagnosis predictive of long COVID?”. She hypothesises that there is a unique inflammatory marker signature in long COVID-19 patients and hopes that the results of this study will assist in quick identification of patients likely to suffer from long COVID-19 to assist them on time so that they can quickly recover.

SANTHE is an Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) flagship programme funded by the Science for Africa Foundation through the DELTAS Africa programme; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Gilead Sciences Inc.; and the Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard.