Breakthrough Research By Australian Scientists Discovers New Covid-19 Severity Predictor, Paving The Way For Future Life With Covid-19

source – EY
  • New prognostic biomarker for COVID-19 severity utilises a nasal swab to detect the presence of hFwe-Lose, or “Flower Lose", cell marker in COVID-19-infected individuals.

  • Patients with acute lung injury had higher levels of the biomarker in their lower respiratory tract and areas of cell death.

  • The cell fitness marker would enable medical teams to identify patients more likely to develop severe symptoms, provide closer monitoring and earlier access to hospitalisation and intensive care.

Breakthrough Research By Australian Scientists Discovers New Covid-19 Severity Predictor, Paving The Way For Future Life With Covid-19

The University of Queensland (UQ) has developed a novel method for estimating health outcomes in COVID-19 patients by evaluating their cell fitness.

The study, which was published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine on Tuesday, may have major implications for identifying and protecting individuals most susceptible to the virus, according to Xinhua News Agency.

According to Dr Arutha Kulasinghe, contributing author from the UQ's Diamantina Institute, “we found that patients with acute lung injury had higher levels of the biomarker in their lower respiratory tract and areas of cell death." 

The cell marker in concern is known as hFwe-Lose, or “Flower Lose," and the researchers discovered that it was a significant predictor of the severity with which COVID-19 was likely to develop.

The cell marker was shown to be elevated in older people and those with comorbidities such as obesity and immune function disorders in tests performed on patients ages ranging from 20 to 82 years old.

“More importantly, we also found that the cell fitness marker outperformed conventional methods, such as age, inflammation and co-existing diseases, in predicting health outcomes, such as hospitalisation and death, in COVID-19 patients," Kulasinghe added.

source - university of queensland

A nasal swab was used to detect the presence of the “Flower lose" cell marker in COVID-19-infected individuals. According to Kulasinghe, this will provide doctors with a quick way to assess the risk level of a COVID-positive patient.

“The cell fitness marker would enable medical teams to identify patients more likely to develop severe symptoms, provide closer monitoring and earlier access to hospitalisation and intensive care." 

While Kulasinghe said that further research was needed to fully establish the robustness of the cell marker, the researchers concluded that the study had produced a “new prognostic biomarker for COVID-19 severity," which may alter the way this deadly virus is assessed and treated.

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