Jaipur, May 23
COVID-19 is now a global pandemic.
This deadly RNA-virus is taking a toll on millions of lives across the world, since it crept into China in November-December last year, but more so when it co-exists with a bacterial pathogen ‘Chlamydia pneumonia’, the otherwise, highly infectious, but simple flu-like illness becomes life-threatening.
This ‘Chlamydia pneumonia’ is present in several heart patients, and around 10 per cent of the general population in the dormant stage. When COVID-19 attacks a person— breaking the immunity quotient—a process of blood coagulation initiates in pulmonary arteries leading to a cardiac arrest or Hypoxia in which the patient succumbs to the dual diseases.
Whether the SARS CoV-2 claims a life in association with a dormant ‘Chlamydia pneumonia’?
This is a big question mark in medical science. This project is a new ‘hypothesis’ too, Dr Jaideep Dogra, MD and in-charge of CGHS in Jaipur and Dr Luvdeep Dogra, DM-F Nephrology at Osmania University said.
Researching ‘Chlamydia pneumonia’ for over two years on heart patients in Rajasthan, Dr Jaideep also published a paper in the International Journal of General Medicine.
“Eighty-five per cent of Covid-19 patients having normal Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) symptoms get treated, while 10-15 per cent of patients develops sudden breathlessness and land in an emergency. In such patients, C.penumoniae probably gets activated when COVID-19 breaks down the patient’s immunity. This bacterial pathogen has a tendency, it gets activated, causes arterial thrombo (coagulopathy)”, they said.
Quoting a postmortem study on COVID-19 victims done by Italy, they said: “Autopsy studies on 38 subjects from two hospitals in Italy who died of COVID-19 were systematically analysed. A relevant finding of the presence of platelet-fibrin-thrombosis in small pulmonary arteries, which fits into the clinical context of a ‘Coagulopathy’ was present in a majority of these patients (86.8%, 33 out of 38). And, this was the turning point in the management of COVID 19”.
“Similarly, ‘Happy hypoxia’ of COVID-19 disease in which young patients succumb suddenly as their hypoxia goes unnoticed can be explained by the autopsy reports from young soldiers of Korean War and Vietnam War reporting an incidence of 45-77% of Coronary atherosclerosis in the mean age group of 26 years. This indirectly co-relates with the known observation that chlamydia pneumonia is present in young populations too”, they hypothesized.
“However, why only 10-15% of patients develop sudden breathlessness and land in the emergency room is still an unsolved puzzle. Moreover, while on positive pressure ventilation the condition of these patients paradoxically worsened. While those who got simple non-invasive oxygen delivery did show recovery. We may argue that the ventilated patients were inherently sicker but then is there something beyond that too?”, they explained.
“Evidence has been accumulating on the role of Chlamydia pneumoniae-a species of Gram-negative obligate intracellular pathogen (the link between virus and bacteria) which causes a spectrum of lower and upper respiratory tract infection in humans and has been implicated in etiology/ pathogenesis of artery blockage”, the duo said.
A widely used anti-bacterial drug Azithromycin for COVID-19 patients is giving positive results, doctors assume it is controlling the virus, but this may be a wrong notion, Dogras said, adding, Azithromycin has been used for ‘Chlamydia pneumonia’ for long.
Hence, the action of this anti-bacterial drug may lie in not curing a deadly virus (SARS CoV 2), but killing Chlamydia and preventing the mortality associated with the disease, they opined.
“If Azithromycin is administered in early stages of Corona infection in the optimum doses, the mortality risks of this dreaded disease may be minimised”, they further stressed.
The two medical professionals are planning to send their ‘hypothesis’ to an American institution for further research on evaluation and trials of these two medical facts, they hinted.