In a research published in the Journal Blood Advances, reported that a series of biomarkers or biological signals associated with the White Blood Cell activation and obesity can predict severe outcomes in Covid-19 patients. The findings indicated that five proteins (resistin, lipocalin-2, HGF, IL-8 and G-CSF) that are associated with neutrophils, a type of WBC, were elevated in the Covid-19 patients who later became critically ill.
Researchers said that many of these proteins had previously been associated with Obesity, but not with Covid-19 or other viral illnesses.
A lead author from the Yale University, Hyung Chun, said, “Patients with high level of these markers were much more likely to require care in the ICU, require ventilation or die due to their Covid-19.”
Previously, a few laboratory studies had identifies possible indicators of severe Covid-19, including D-dimer levels, a measure od blood coagulation, and levels of proteins known as cytokines, which are released as a part of inflammatory responses in the body. However, until now, no laboratory marker could predict which patients with Covid-19 will eventually become critically ill prior to showing clinical signs and symptoms of severe disease.
For the new study, the researchers used proteomic profiling to analyze samples taken from 100 patients who would go on to experience different levels pf Covid-19 severity.
Notably, the elevated neutrophil biomarkers for patients who would go on to experience more serious symptoms were evident before those symptoms appeared.
All Covid-19 patients who were admitted or transferred to ICU had elevated neutrophil elevation markers, while these biomarkers remained low for patients who never developed severe illness and none of the latter died. Having early knowledge of these indicators could significantly improve patient treatment, said researchers.