Blood value reveals the course of severe disease Covid | City of Health Berlin

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 – Author: ham

Serious Covid-19 diseases can have very different courses. Nevertheless, there seem to be some commonalities in the immune response. According to a new study, the recovery process is primarily seen from a certain value of blood.

COVID-19 can affect many organs and can have very different courses. However, the course of the disease largely depends on the immune response. Because this reaction is reflected in the blood, a team from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) looked for similarities. To this end, DZNE researchers repeatedly examined the blood of 139 Covid-19 patients who had to be treated in the intensive care unit. The patients ranged in age from 21 to 86 years, most of whom were men. 105 patients recovered enough to be released from the ICU, and 34 patients died.

The neutrophil count decreases during recovery

Analyzes have revealed that recovery from severe COVID-19 is characterized by a gradual loss of certain white blood cells: neutrophils. They are the most common white blood cells and function as one of the first lines of defense against pathogens in the arsenal of the immune system. “We found that patients with the severe disease COVID-19 have a high number of mature, ie fully developed neutrophils in their blood, the amount of which decreases during the recovery process,” says the first author Dr. Amit Frischberg.

Levels of other white blood cells also changed over time, with some falling while others rising. “However, these changes are less pronounced than for neutrophils,” says Frishberg.

Increase associated with poor forecast

However, the researchers were able to observe the opposite case: an increase in mature neutrophils over a long period of time leads to a high probability of death in patients in the intensive care unit. “This may be due to the fact that the steady increase is accompanied by an excessive, and therefore harmful, immune response,” says Frishberg.

During the convalescence, the researchers discovered other changes that affect the molecular signaling pathways and regulatory mechanisms of the immune system. “It is remarkable from our results that recovery in all patients followed the same biological pattern, despite individual differences in the time course of the disease. So there’s a common thread, so to speak. We did not find any evidence in our data that the recovery process after the severe COVID-19 disease can take place in different ways, ”Frishberg emphasizes.

Biomarkers for prognosis

Based on the results, the authors now propose to use neutrophil counts in the blood as a biomarker for the prognosis of severe Covid-19 disease.

For their analysis, the researchers relied primarily on blood transcriptomes. These data sets reflect the gene activity of all blood cells at a given point in time. As a rule, more than 10,000 different genes are recorded. Blood transcriptomas provide a very detailed picture of the immunological process. This very complex data was analyzed using computer-aided methods.

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