Analysis of post COVID-19 condition and its overlap with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome

Olga A. Sukocheva, Rebekah Maksoud, Narasimha M. Beeraka, Sabba Rao V. Madhunapantula, Mikhail Sinelnikov, Vladimir N. Nikolenko, Margarita E. Neganova, Sergey G. Klochkov, Mohammad Amjad Kamal, Donald R. Staines, Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


Background: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) disease (COVID-19) triggers the development of numerous pathologies and infection-linked complications and exacerbates existing pathologies in nearly all body systems. Aside from the primarily targeted respiratory organs, adverse SARS-CoV-2 effects were observed in nervous, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal/metabolic, immune, and other systems in COVID-19 survivors. Long-term effects of this viral infection have been recently observed and represent distressing sequelae recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a distinct clinical entity defined as post-COVID-19 condition. Considering the pandemic is still ongoing, more time is required to confirm post COVID-19 condition diagnosis in the COVID-19 infected cohorts, although many reported post COVID-19 symptoms overlap with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Aims of Review: In this study, COVID-19 clinical presentation and associated post-infection sequelae (post-COVID-19 condition) were reviewed and compared with ME/CFS symptomatology. Key Scientific Concepts of Review: The onset, progression, and symptom profile of post COVID-19 condition patients have considerable overlap with ME/CFS. Considering the large scope and range of pro-inflammatory effects of this virus, it is reasonable to expect development of post COVID-19 clinical complications in a proportion of the affected population. There are reports of a later debilitating syndrome onset three months post COVID-19 infection (often described as long-COVID-19), marked by the presence of fatigue, headache, cognitive dysfunction, post-exertional malaise, orthostatic intolerance, and dyspnoea. Acute inflammation, oxidative stress, and increased levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), have been reported in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Longitudinal monitoring of post COVID-19 patients is warranted to understand the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the pathomechanism of post COVID-19 condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-196
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Advanced Research
Early online date26 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Coronavirus
  • Fatigue
  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • Post COVID-19 condition
  • Post-infection
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sequelae


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