Potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19 identified

Canadian scientists completed a profile for the body's immune response to COVID-19. For the research, the blood samples of 30 patients have been analyzed, with 20 out of 30 being life support patients (10 infected with COVID and 10 patients with other infections) and the other 10 being control group of healthy people. The groups were created according to age, gender, and similarity of symptoms. The death rate of COVID-19 patients was 40%.

The analysis of blood samples allowed researchers to observe the 57 inflammatory molecules. The 6 molecules out of 57 were uniquely elevated in COVID-19 patients, those molecules being tumor necrosis factor, granzyme B, heat shock protein 70, interleukin-18, interferon-gamma-inducible protein 10, and elastase 2.

This is the first research on the topic of profiling the inflammatory factors in COVID-19 patients' blood. It is known that the disease causes the cytokine storm - an overreaction of the immune system, that can cause death, but its reasons used to be completely unknown. According to researchers, their study gives them a direction for the future and disproves certain guesses by defining the potential therapeutic targets. The next step is testing the medicine that blocks the harmful impact of some of those molecules while allowing the immune system to fight the virus.

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