Australian COVID-19 Research Indicates That Multi-Organ Damage Is Involved And That Metabolite Signature Could Be Used For Diagnostics
A new COVID-19 Research
by scientist from Murdoch University-Australia led by Professor Dr Jeremy K. Nicholson and Professor Dr Elaine Holmes have discovered that by comparing lipoproteins and metabolites in the blood of COVID-19 patients and healthy subjects, not only are signs of multi-organ damage apparent but a distinct metabolite signature was observed in COVID-19 patients that could be further explored to help diagnose and treat COVID-19.
The research findings were published in the ACS journal: Proteome Research https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jproteome.0c00537
It is now known that SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, can cause a wide range of symptoms, from none at all to severe respiratory stress, multi-organ failure and death.
The novel coronavirus notably targets the lungs, but many patients also experience non-respiratory symptoms.
At present, diagnostic tests for COVID-19 rely on the detection of viral RNA or antibodies against the virus. Both types of tests are prone to false-negative results, as well as having other limitations.
The researchers propose that another possible way of detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection could involve analyzing metabolic changes the virus causes in an infected person.
The study team led by Dr Nicholson, Dr Holmes and colleagues wanted to analyze the systemic effects of the disease and determine whether there is a general metabolic signature of COVID-19.
The study team collected blood samples from 17 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 with current assays and from 25 healthy age-, sex- and body mass index-matched controls who were proven negative for current or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection with an antibody test.
The research team subsequently analyzed the plasma lipoprotein, metabolite and amino acid levels in blood plasma with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.
Significantly through multivariate statistical analyses that detected differences between patients and controls, the researchers revealed a metabolic signature of SARS-CoV-2 infection involving signs of acute inflammation, liver dysfunction, diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk.
The study team is now validating the data in a much larger group of patients.
Importantly in addition to possibly being used to develop a metabolite-based diagnostic test, these study findings suggest that all recovered COVID-19 patients should be evaluated for increased risks for other conditions, the researchers say.
It should be noted that multi-organ damage was not just limited to recovered COVID-19 patients who had suffered severe symptoms but also those who had mild to moderate symptoms and also those who were asymptomatic.
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