Researchers Find Cell Fitness Marker That Determines COVID-19 Prognosis
Researchers have found a distinct marker that can show the level of fitness for lung cells and hence can be employed to speculate whether or not an individual would get severe Covid infections prior to its contraction.
This finding was published by researchers from many international institutes like the University of Wisconsin, the University of Queensland (Brisbane), Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, and MPI-HLR (Max Planck Institute for Heart & Lung Research) in EMBO Molecular Medicine, an open-access journal.
The identified marker is named hFwe-Lose. It predicts how much an individual is vulnerable to the long-term effects of COVID-19, which is generally referred to as long Covid, as per the author of the publication.
While elucidating the importance of the study, the scientists mentioned that examining the level of danger for the development of serious Covid infection is a crucial consideration for handling the current pandemic situation. Such a mechanism would be beneficial for grouping affected individuals with COVID-19 infection, hence allowing those predisposed to develop serious symptoms, to get earlier access to intensive care & hospitalization, and closer monitoring. hFwe-Lose, the cell fitness marker accurately envisages the COVID-19 patient’s outcomes. This shows how the tissue fitness pathways react to disease & infection and how it manages the current pandemic.
In order to find the marker, the scientists carried out a post-mortem assessment of COVID-19 affected lung tissues and ascertained that the hFwe-Lose (cell fitness marker) can indicate the host’s immune reaction to the disease.
More significantly, the level of expression for hFwe-Lose exceeded the traditional techniques in speculating the outcomes in COVID19-affected individuals (death or hospitalization), making it a good tool for predicting the severity of the disease in patients compared to tools for predicting comorbidity and age.
Cell fitness can envisage the outcomes of other diseases as well
The Assistant Professor at the Health & Medical Sciences Division, University of Copenhagen, and the co-author of the article, Dr. Rajan Gogna stated that a technique like this could have affected COVID-19 deaths remarkably during the second wave, particularly in nations like India where healthcare facilities are not sufficient.
Dr. Gogna mentioned that this is a groundbreaking study and is crucial as there are advantages to society. Like the nasal swab test with nasal epithelial cells that can reveal what is the problems with the lung cells, they have now identified a gene that specifically envisages the lung cells’ cellular fitness, indicating the severity of the diseases.
He further added that going after the reaction of the immune system was the main mistake. Something occurs prior to the response of the immune system. Prior to that, the virus begins to destroy lung cells. The lung cells’ fitness can stop this from happening. Comorbidity and age are not ideal markers, however, he believed that this finding would have had a much bigger influence in preventing health during the second wave of COVID-19.
In the case of COVID-19 mortalities, immune systems turn into a hyperactive system, otherwise known as a cytokine storm, that at last kills the individual.
Dr. Gogna reported that cell fitness could be employed as a tool for predicting the seriousness of other infections as well. Cell fitness is an evolving concept that has a significant function in the biology of diseases and can even be applied to influenza, TB, as for most of these diseases, the issue is the necrosis of lung cells. Cell fitness additionally elucidates long-term Covid and even why there are cases of mortality for few individuals even after vaccination.
The published article claims that for proper handling of COVID-19 positive patients, it is necessary to find and, where needed, assign affected individuals into the high-risk category with poor disease consequences. However, they were not instantly capable of explaining the reason for this disease outcome prediction by this specific marker.
The scientists discussed in the research article that currently the reason behind the association of COVID-19 severity and the expression of hFwe-Lose within the respiratory tract is unclear. It has been revealed before that environmental alterations in the human body like immune function, inflammation, and nutrient state affects the cells’ contribution to their tissue and their relative fitness. Chronic inflammation like obesity, and dietary-related inflammation, provokes the mechanisms that sense homeostatic fitness and cause increased retention of suboptimal cells, leading to gradual aggravation of tissue fitness.