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Long-term effects of COVID-19 infections

Guest Editors:
Giulia MarchettiUniversity of Milan, Italy
Maria MazzitelliPadua University Hospital, Italy

BMC Infectious Diseases was called submissions to our Collection on Long-term effects of COVID-19 infections. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on global health, affecting millions of people and leading to widespread illness and death. While the acute phase of the pandemic has been well documented, there is growing recognition of the long-term effects of COVID-19, with many patients experiencing persistent symptoms even after resolution of the acute illness. This phenomenon, known as post-COVID syndrome, is increasingly recognized as a significant public health challenge. In recognition of the multidisciplinary approach needed to care for COVID-19 survivors, and the framework for identifying those at high risk for post-acute COVID-19, BMC Infectious Diseases welcomed submissions to its newly launched collection.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Giulia MarchettiUniversity of Milan, Italy

Dr Marchetti is a Full Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Milan and Director of the Clinic of Infectious Diseases, San Paolo Hospital, Milan. Her research interests are the mechanisms underlying immune restoration,  inflammation and gut microbiome with HIV co-infection and immune pathogenesis of SARS CoV-2 infection. She is currently coordinating the EUCARE-POST COVID-19 STUDY within the EUCARE project (“European Cohorts of Patients and Schools to Advance Response to Epidemics”) a multicenter cohort study aiming at investigating post COVID-19 manifestations.

Maria MazzitelliPadua University Hospital, Italy

Dr Mazzitelli is a full consultant at the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Unit of Padua University Hospital. Her research interests include HIV and comorbidities, ageing and polypharmacy, and COVID-19. In her current role at the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Unit of Padua University Hospital, she runs the HIV outpatient’s clinics and antimicrobial stewardship activities.

About the collection

BMC Infectious Diseases is called for submissions to our Collection on Long-term effects of COVID-19 infections. 

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in a global healthcare crisis and strained health resources. As the population of patients recovering from COVID-19 grows, it is important to establish an understanding of the healthcare issues surrounding them. COVID-19 is now recognized as a multi-organ disease with a broad spectrum of manifestations, and similarly to post-acute viral syndromes described in survivors of other virulent coronavirus epidemics, there are increasing reports of persistent and prolonged effects after acute COVID-19. This phenomenon is now referred to as post-acute COVID-19 or post-COVID syndrome and is characterized by persistent symptoms and/or delayed or long-term complications beyond 4 weeks from the onset of symptoms that include but are not limited to fatigue, chest pain, dyspnea, cognitive disturbances, arthralgia, and a decline in quality of life.

We were particularly interested in manuscripts that address the following topics:

  • Identification and characterization of key clinical, serological, imaging and epidemiological features of COVID-19 in the chronic phase of disease.
  • Clinical studies, including prospective cohorts and clinical trials, that help us to better understand the pathophysiology of this disease.
  • Investigation and management of symptoms and organ-specific complications that developed after the acute phase of COVID-19.
  • Manuscripts covering Interdisciplinary cooperation and comprehensive care and rehabilitation of patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome in the outpatient setting.

This call for papers invited submissions from researchers and practitioners in the field of post-COVID syndrome, including epidemiology, clinical medicine and public health. We welcomed scientifically sound original research articles and systematic reviews. This collection did not consider Case Reports.

Note: For the scope of this collection, post-COVID-19 syndrome was defined as persistent symptoms and/or delayed or long-term complications beyond 4 weeks from the onset of symptoms.

Image credit: © freshidea /

  1. It has become increasingly clear that SARS-CoV-2 infection can lead to persistent physical and mental health problems lasting weeks or months, requiring prolonged periods of clinical care and increasing the bu...

    Authors: Imen Zemni, Amel Gara, Cyrine Bennasrallah, Salma Ezzar, Meriem Kacem, Roua Chokri, Amani Maatouk, Hela Abroug, Wafa Dhouib, Manel Ben Fredj, Ines Bouanene and Asma Sriha Belguith
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2024 24:461
  2. Pain is one of the prevalent Long COVID Symptoms (LCS). Pain interferes with the quality of life (QoL) and induces disease burden.

    Authors: Md. Feroz Kabir, Khin Nyein Yin, Mohammad Saffree Jeffree, Fatimah Binti Ahmedy, Muhamad Faizal Zainudin, Ohnmar Htwe, Sharmila Jahan, Md. Zahid Hossain, K. M. Amran Hossain, Tofajjal Hossain, Iqbal Kabir Jahid and Sonjit Kumar Chakrovorty
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2024 24:375
  3. An increasing number of studies have described new and persistent symptoms and conditions as potential post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). However, it remains unclear whether certain symptoms o...

    Authors: Yongkang Zhang, Alfonso Romieu-Hernandez, Tegan K. Boehmer, Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, Thomas W. Carton, Adi V. Gundlapalli, Julia Fearrington, Kshema Nagavedu, Katherine Dea, Erick Moyneur, Lindsay G. Cowell, Rainu Kaushal, Kenneth H. Mayer, Jon Puro, Sonja A. Rasmussen, Deepika Thacker…
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2024 24:181
  4. To evaluate the frequency, duration and patterns of long-term coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms and to analyse risk factors for long-lasting COVID-19 sequelae among a cohort of hospital employees (H...

    Authors: Rosalie Gruber, María Verónica Montilva Ludewig, Christina Weßels, Gerlinde Schlang, Svenja Jedhoff, Swetlana Herbrandt and Frauke Mattner
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2024 24:119
  5. Around 10% of people infected by SARS-COV-2 report symptoms that persist longer than 3 months. Little has been reported about sex differences in symptoms and clustering over time of non-hospitalised patients i...

    Authors: Gemma Torrell, Diana Puente, Constanza Jacques-Aviñó, Lucia A. Carrasco-Ribelles, Concepció Violán, Tomás López-Jiménez, Veronica Royano, Alba Molina Cantón, Laura Medina-Perucha, Israel Rodríguez-Giralt and Anna Berenguera
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2024 24:82
  6. The purpose of this study is to analyze the influencing factors associated with Long-COVID in patients infected with Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Changchun City, Jilin Province, China three months after disc...

    Authors: Hang Shang, Tianying Chang, Wei Yang, Li Shi, Shaodan Hu, Lin Tian, Jixiang Ren, Tan Wang, Jian Wang, Jiajuan Guo and Yingzi Cui
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2024 24:36
  7. Persistent headache is a frequent symptom after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and there is currently limited knowledge about its clinical spectrum and predisposing factors. A subset of patients may be ex...

    Authors: Fhabián S. Carrión-Nessi, Luis C. Ascanio, Andreína G. Pineda-Arapé, Óscar D. Omaña-Ávila, Daniela L. Mendoza-Millán, Sinibaldo R. Romero, Abranny B. Almao-Rivero, Natasha A. Camejo-Ávila, Karim J. Gebran-Chedid, Carlis M. Rodriguez-Saavedra, Diana C. Freitas-De Nobrega, Sergio A. Castañeda, José L. Forero-Peña, Lourdes A. Delgado-Noguera, Lucianny K. Meneses-Ramírez, Juan C. Cotuá…
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:877
  8. Symptomatic COVID-19 and Long COVID, also referred to as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) or post-COVID conditions, have been widely reported in young, healthy people, but their prevalence has not yet ...

    Authors: Daisy Massey, Sharon Saydah, Blythe Adamson, Andrew Lincoln, Douglas F. Aukerman, Ethan M. Berke, Robby Sikka and Harlan M. Krumholz
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:876
  9. Defining patterns of symptoms in long COVID is necessary to advance therapies for this heterogeneous condition. Here we aimed to describe clusters of symptoms in individuals with long COVID and explore the imp...

    Authors: Grace Kenny, Kathleen McCann, Conor O’Brien, Cathal O’Broin, Willard Tinago, Obada Yousif, Tessa O’Gorman, Aoife G. Cotter, John S. Lambert, Eoin R. Feeney, Eoghan de Barra, Corinna Sadlier, Alan Landay, Peter Doran, Stefano Savinelli and Patrick W. G. Mallon
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:804
  10. While many studies on the determinants of post-COVID-19 conditions (PCC) have been conducted, little is known about the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 variants and PCC. This study aimed to assess the associat...

    Authors: Huyen Nguyen Thi Khanh, Laura Cornelissen, Diego Castanares-Zapatero, Robby De Pauw, Dieter Van Cauteren, Stefaan Demarest, Sabine Drieskens, Brecht Devleesschauwer, Karin De Ridder, Rana Charafeddine and Pierre Smith
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:774
  11. With Norwegian national registry data, we assessed the prevalence of post-COVID-19 symptoms at least 3 months after confirmed infection, and whether sociodemographic factors and pre-pandemic health problems we...

    Authors: Øystein Hetlevik, Knut-Arne Wensaas, Valborg Baste, Knut Erik Emberland, Türküler Özgümüs, Siri Eldevik Håberg and Guri Rortveit
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:721
  12. Hepatitis C presents a profound global health challenge. The impact of COVID-19 on hepatitis C, however, remain uncertain. This study aimed to ascertain the influence of COVID-19 on the hepatitis C epidemic tr...

    Authors: Yanyan Li, Xinxiao Li, Xianxiang Lan, Chenlu Xue, Bingjie Zhang and YongBin Wang
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:691
  13. With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus has shifted to understanding and managing long-term post-infectious complications. “Long COVID,“ characterized by p...

    Authors: Pranav Nair, Chithira V Nair, Kiran G Kulirankal, Elizabeth M Corley, Fabia Edathadathil, Georg Gutjahr, Merlin Moni and Dipu T Sathyapalan
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:670
  14. Acute gastrointestinal infections can lead to post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS). Moreover, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is related to long-term gastrointestinal sequelae. In this study, the f...

    Authors: Daya Zhang, Chen Chen, Yunqian Xie, Fan Zeng, Shiju Chen, Runxiang Chen, Xiaodong Zhang, Shimei Huang, Da Li and Feihu Bai
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:422
  15. Both post-COVID-19 condition (long COVID) and the presence of persisting symptoms that do not meet formal definitions of post-COVID-19-condition may adversely affect quality of life and function. However, thei...

    Authors: Charlotte Warren-Gash, Andrea Lacey, Sarah Cook, Dylan Stocker, Samantha Toon, Ffion Lelii, Ben Ford, Georgina Ireland, Shamez N. Ladhani, Terence Stephenson, Patrick Nguipdop-Djomo and Punam Mangtani
    Citation: BMC Infectious Diseases 2023 23:201