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Drug Resistance Mutations Found

Researchers have found that drug resistance mutations may arise in some COVID-19 patients treated with the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab, the Guardian reports.

A University of Sydney-led team of researchers analyzed the first 100 consecutive patients who received sotrovimab treatment during the Delta wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in New South Wales. As the Guardian notes, sotrovimab is used in many countries to treat COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease or death and works best if administered in the first few days following infection.

The researchers report in the New England Journal of Medicine that eight patients from their cohort continued to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 via PCR even after treatment and that half of those patients had viral samples harboring mutations affecting the receptor binding domain.

Sydney's Rebecca Rockett, the study's lead author, tells the Guardian that these mutations "made the drug effectively inactive."

This, she adds there, underscores the need to monitor patients undergoing sotrovimab treatment and to isolate patients who develop such resistance to limit their ability to pass the drug resistant version of the virus on.

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