Amy Proal, PhD Profile picture
Microbiologist at PolyBio Research Foundation: helping research teams collaborate on infection-associated chronic disease #me #longcovid #lyme #eds @polybioRF
Crystal Profile picture deb wot Profile picture #LongHauler for 24 Years - #MECFS G93.3 Profile picture Sharon Pasick Levin Profile picture Dawn Dack Profile picture 12 added to My Authors
Sep 8 12 tweets 9 min read
I am honored to serve as the Chief Scientific Officer of this new @polybioRF initiative. Our team of top global scientists will work rapidly and openly to characterize key root cause drivers of #LongCovid, with a focus on SARS-CoV-2 persistence in tissue: ImageImageImage 2/ Our #research program will use many of the most cutting-edge sequencing and imaging technologies in the world. We will study #SARS-COV-2’s impact on the immune + genetic landscape of LongCovid tissue, in concert with studies on related trends such as vagus nerve signaling Image
Aug 20 7 tweets 3 min read
This is one of the most concerning examples of #SARS-CoV-2 persistence to date 👉 The team found SARS-CoV-2 RNA + Spike protein in the stool of 11/14 newborn babies born to mothers who had #COVID-19 resolve 10+ weeks before delivery:… 2/ The team concludes that “the findings suggest in utero transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and possible persistent intestinal #viral reservoirs in the newborns”
Jul 14 4 tweets 2 min read
New @polybioRF podcast 👉 I interviewed Dr. Diane Griffin: A Chair of Molecular Microbiology/Immunology at Johns Hopkins. We discuss RNA virus persistence w/ implications for LongCovid. Listen on Spotify (…) or watch on Youtube () 2/ Diane explains how RNA from viruses such as measles, Ebola, Zika and SARS-CoV-2 can perisist in host cells for years after acute infection despite patients not being overtly infectious. This viral RNA is often transcriptionally active and can modulate the host immune response
Jun 11 10 tweets 4 min read
This important study found a significantly elevated frequency of #SARS-CoV-2-specific TNF-α-producing CD8+ T cells in patients with pulmonary #LongCovid (PASC). PASC subjects experienced an average symptom duration of over 6 months:… 2/ This is how the authors interpret the finding: "This increased frequency could be detected in response to peptide pools of all the #viral structural proteins in comparison to the resolved #COVID-19 (RC) cohort.
Feb 21 10 tweets 5 min read
This is the most straightforward explanation for chronic symptoms in at least a subset of #LongCovid patients. Partly b/c if the #virus is still present its activity can directly contribute to other phenomena also being documented in LongCovid 2/ Persistence of #SARS-CoV-2 in tissue could lead to shedding of spike protein into blood, which can catalyze the ongoing formation of microclots and hyperactivated platelets
Feb 10 7 tweets 4 min read
New @polybioRF podcast. I interviewed Dr. Tobias Lanz: MD + researcher in the lab of Prof. William Robinson at the Department of Rheumatology/Immunology at Stanford School of Medicine. Listen on Spotify (…) or watch on Youtube () 2/ In the interview Tobias discusses this breakthrough study he led at Stanford. It showed that a cross-reactive antibody can contribute to #MS neuroinflammation thanks to molecular mimcry b/t an EBV viral protein (EBNA1) + a human CNS protein (GlialCAM):…
Jan 8 4 tweets 3 min read
New @polybioRF podcast: I interviewed Dr. Alessio Fasano: Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Watch on Youtube () or listen on an App like Spotify (…) 2/ Alessio discusses this study: His team showed that in children with MIS-C, #SARS-CoV-2 gut reservoir led to release of zonulin (a biomaker of intestinal permeability) + subsequent trafficking of spike protein to into blood, leading to hyperinflammation: Image
Dec 28, 2021 11 tweets 19 min read
@kimisgubbed @VirusesImmunity @KaminskiMed @Be_Kinderr @jenbrea @ahandvanish Hey! Well hypoxic tissue cld lead to lower O2 extraction, & infected tissue is often hypoxic. Most intracellular pathogens hijack metabolism of cells they infect & “push” host mitochondrial metabolism to anerobic glycolysis (O2 not being used for OXPHOS):… @kimisgubbed @VirusesImmunity @KaminskiMed @Be_Kinderr @jenbrea @ahandvanish 2/ In fact many intracellular #pathogens either directly or indirectly enhance hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-1) stability. HIF-1 is a key glycolytic regulator/transcription factor whose stability reduces reliance on OXPHOS by initiating glycolytic #metabolism
Dec 23, 2021 7 tweets 4 min read
People are asking me: what if we did a similar autopsy study to look for #viruses in ME/CFS? Well, several teams that performed single autopsy studies on #ME/CFS patients found evidence of persistent enterovirus infection in subject brain/body tissue 2/ Enteroviruses are (like SARS-CoV-2) single-stranded RNA viruses. They include the coxsackieviruses, poliovirus, echoviruses + rhinoviruses. These viruses cause about 10–15 million #infections each year in the USA alone
Dec 22, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
New preprint: The team did autopsies on 44 patients w/ #COVID-19 to map + quantify SARS-CoV-2 distribution, replication and cell-type specificity across the human body (including brain) from acute infection through over 7 months following symptom onset:… 2/ They found that #SARS-CoV-2 was widely distributed, even among patients who died with asymptomatic to mild COVID-19. They also detected persistent SARS-CoV-2 RNA in multiple anatomic sites, including regions throughout the #brain, for up to 230 days following symptom onset
Dec 19, 2021 6 tweets 4 min read
New @polybioRF podcast! I interviewed Dr. Resia Pretorius: Department Head/Research Professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Listen on an App like Spotify () or watch on Youtube () 2/ In the interview Resia talks about how her research team has identified microclots resistant to fibrinolysis + hyperactivated platelets in the blood of #LongCovid patients. We also discuss how we are planning to extend the research to #ME/CFS
Dec 7, 2021 6 tweets 5 min read
I want to put this study on everyone's radar b/c I think it's a genuinely cool opportunity for people/patients to get high-quality data on their #SARS-C0V-2 #immune status over time👇 (I have no financial ties to the company). 2/ To be more clear about what the study involves, the @serimmune team will assess each subjects’ individual immune response to SARS-CoV-2 from both natural #infection and #vaccination for up to 5 years.
Nov 18, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
For this new @polybioRF podcast I interviewed Dr. Liisa Selin, professor of pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Listen on an App like Spotify (…) or watch on youtube () 2/ Liisa talks about her work as a #viral immunologist, and how her team recently got an NIH grant to study the role of viral infection and T-cell exhaustion in #ME/CFS. She discusses existing data on the topic and how the research may also inform the #LongCovid disease process
Sep 26, 2021 11 tweets 6 min read
In our recent review on #LongCovid/PASC we bring up the possibility that dysbiosis or imbalance of host #microbiome communities (in ecosytems such as the gut, lungs, or oral cavity) might contribute to at least some LongCovid symptoms:… 2/ More specifically immune dysregulation driven by #SARS-CoV-2 might allow pathobionts (bacteria capable of both commensal + virulent acitivty) in the gut, mouth, or other body sites to collectively shift towards a state of imbalance + pro-inflammatory gene/metabolite expression
Sep 17, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
Sometimes I hear people dismiss the possible role of a persistent #pathogen (such as a herpesvirus) in the development of a chronic #disease b/c the same pathogen can be found in healthy people 2/ I see it differently 👉 While the presence/absence of a persistent pathogen in a patient with chronic symptoms matters, the real question is: what is the pathogen doing? Is its ACTIVITY different in patients vs. healthy people?
Sep 12, 2021 11 tweets 6 min read
I’ve seen some people tweet that #coronaviruses might not be capable of persistence. But over the past decades, coronavirus RNA/protein has been identified in a range of human samples after acute illness, and sometimes connected to chronic disease 2/ For example, this team found coronavirus RNA and/or antigen in both plaque + non-plaque areas of brainstem, cortex, and spinal cord samples obtained from patients with MS:… Image
Jun 29, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
It’s important to acknowledge that vaccinated people can acquire/transmit the Delta variant. While vaccinated individuals should experience less severe acute #COVID-19, they may still be at risk for LongCovid/PASC (which has been shown to develop after asymptomatic/mild COVID-19) 2/ For example, this team reported a range of long-term symptoms in a cohort of previously confirmed or presumed COVID-19 patients whose acute symptoms were largely managed without the need for hospitalization:…
Jun 23, 2021 10 tweets 8 min read
@MBVanElzakker and I are excited that our new paper on biological factors that may contribute to the development of LongCovid/PASC was published today:… 2/ The paper details mechanisms by which RNA #viruses beyond just #SARS-CoV-2 have be connected to long-term health consequences.
Jun 15, 2021 13 tweets 6 min read
In a meeting I watched today, microglia priming was mentioned in #LongCovid and #ME/CFS. It’s important to clarify what “microglia priming” means. Microglial priming does not mean that after a trigger has “cleared” microglia remain perpetually activated 2/ Instead, microglia priming goes like this 👉 When microglia or other glial cells detect #infection, injury, or inflammatory mediators, they enter a state of activation in which they change morphology and release their own neuroexcitatory inflammatory mediators
Jun 11, 2021 14 tweets 6 min read
Thanks @DrDavidACox for interviewing me for this article on #LongCovid. There’s also great info in the article on research showing #viral RNA in the brains of patients w/ post-SARS syndrome, and viral reservoirs in patients w/ post-Ebola Syndrome:… 2/ The article reads: “Amy Proal, a microbiologist who runs the @polybioRF which studies the causes of chronic inflammatory diseases, believes that small amounts of #pathogens that linger beyond the reach of the immune system in remote pockets of the body...
Jun 7, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Preprint reports elevated serum inflammatory cytokine profile in #LongCovid subjects. Worth noting that an ongoing immune response towards persistent viral reservoirs of #SARS-CoV-2 and/or antigen could explain the findings:… 2/ So the findings underscore the need to do studies that obtain tissue (via surgery or biopsy if possible) to search for #SARS-CoV-2/antigen in #LongCovid patients. Similar to what this team did (and found viral RNA/antigen in multiple tissue types!):…