Objectives: COVID-19 rebound is usually reported among patients experiencing concurrent symptomatic and viral rebound. But longitudinal viral RT-PCR results from early stage to rebound of COVID-19 was less characterized. Further, identifying the factors associated with viral rebound after nirmatrelvir-ritonavir (NMV/r) and molnupiravir may expand understanding of COVID-19 rebound. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data and sequential viral RT-PCR results from COVID-19 patients receiving oral antivirals between April and May, 2022. Viral rebound was defined by the degree of viral load increase (ΔCt ≥ 5 units). Results: A total of 58 and 27 COVID-19 patients taking NMV/r and molnupiravir, respectively, were enrolled. Patients receiving NMV/r were younger, had fewer risk factors for disease progression and faster viral clearance rate compared to those receiving molnupiravr (All P < 0.05). The overall proportion of viral rebound (n=11) was 12.9%, which was more common among patients receiving NMV/r (10 [17.2%] vs. 1 [3.7%], P = 0.16). Of them, 5 patients experienced symptomatic rebound, suggesting the proportion of COVID-19 rebound was 5.9%. The median interval to viral rebound was 5.0 (interquartile range, 2.0-8.0) days after completion of antivirals. Initial lymphopenia (<0.8 × 109/L) was associated with viral rebound among overall population (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.34; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.33-21.71), and remained significant (aOR, 4.50; 95% CI, 1.05-19.25) even when patients receiving NMV/r were considered. Conclusions: Our data suggest viral rebound after oral antivirals may be more commonly observed among lymphopenic individuals in the context of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.2 variant.

Fuente: Journal of the Formosan Medical Association
Available online 8 March 2023