MIP-C, the new potentially deadly disease linked to Covid

An international group of researchers has discovered a new disease potentially deadly linked to covid. There MIP-C (MDA5 autoimmunity and interstitial pneumonia contemporary with covid-19), this is the name of the new disease, appears to be similar to another rare autoimmune disease, the anti-MDA5 positive dermatomyositis, which is usually diagnosed in people originating from the Far East, see China and Japan. The anomalous number of new cases recorded in the United Kingdom, in Yorkshire to be precise, it pushed scientists to analyze the clinical data and draw the conclusions mentioned above.

MIP-C, the new disease associated with covid

The study which led to the emergence of MIP-C was performed by an international research team led by scientists from the Departments of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of California and the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Leeds. Also in the working group are experts from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and other trusts. The professor started the study Dennis McGonagle from the English university together with my colleague Pradipta Ghoshsuspicious of the mysterious increase in cases of anti-MDA5 positive dermatomyositis in 2021, i.e. the second year of the covid pandemic.

The discovery of MIP-C

There anti-MDA5 dermatomyositis it is a rare autoimmune, inflammatory and chronic disease capable of generating consequences especially on the skin, muscles and lungs, leading to a rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease and potentially deadly. This clinical condition is caused by antibodies (more precisely autoantibodies) that attack an enzyme called MDA5 (Melanoma Differentiation-Associated protein 5), an RNA-sensitive receptor that can detect the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and other RNA viruses. The connection of researchers among covid and the increase in cases of anti-MDA5 positive dermatomyositis was therefore immediate for researchers, with subsequent studies and tests confirming the suspected link.

The study data

Going into more specifics, i cases of anti-MDA5 positive dermatomyositis have gone from 0.4 percent 2019 to 2.1 percent of 2020 and 4.8 percent of 2021. In 2022, however, the threshold fell to 1.7 percent. The patients analyzed by Professor McGonagle's research team had, in 25 cases out of 60, scars on the lungs, as well as rheumatological symptoms such as arthritis, muscle pain and extensive skin rashes. Not all of these patients, however, had contracted Covid.

The application of a computational model of big data analysis, called BoNE (Boolean Network Explorer), allowed scientists to discover that patients with high levels of autoimmune reaction to the MDA5 enzyme also had high levels of interleukin-15, which is a proinflammatory protein (cytokine) that is associated with interstitial lung disease progressive / pulmonary fibrosis. The most disturbing aspect is related to mortality rate of the disease: out of the 60 cases examined there were 8 deaths.

The conclusions: there is a link between covid and new disease

Based on the studies carried out, published in the authoritative scientific journal scientific journal eBIOMedicinesscientists believe that having contracted SARS-CoV-2, even in mild form, can induce a different form of anti-MDA5 positive dermatomyositis in the patient. This has been renamed MIP-C (read mipsy). The difference of the new form of the disease compared to the one that was already known lies in “the rate of progression, mortality and behavior”. As claimed by scholars, the disease would also have spread outside the United Kingdom, but at the moment there is no data on this.