We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Technopath Clinical Diagnostics - An LGC Company

Download Mobile App





New POC Blood Test Quickly Detects COVID-19 and Predicts Infection Severity Simultaneously

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 28 Jan 2022
Print article
Image: Timothy McCaffrey holding slide (Photo courtesy of George Washington University)
Image: Timothy McCaffrey holding slide (Photo courtesy of George Washington University)

A new blood test that quickly detects if someone has COVID-19 and predicts how severely the immune system will react to the infection may pave the way toward better treatment of the disease and other health conditions.

The findings by researchers at George Washington University (Washington, DC, USA) could one day lead to a powerful tool to help doctors determine the best treatment plan for people with COVID-19. Currently, there is no good way to predict how the immune system will respond to the virus that causes COVID-19 or other disease-causing microbes. The immune response could range from mild symptoms, all the way to critically severe symptoms, which can lead to the intensive care unit or even death.

To understand more about the variation in symptoms and prognosis, the researchers sequenced whole blood RNA from COVID-19 patients whose symptoms ranged from asymptomatic to severe. They found visible changes in the cells of people with COVID-19. Their analysis also revealed that COVID-19 severity was associated with an increase in neutrophil activity and a decrease in T-cell activity. Neutrophils and T-cells, both a type of white blood cell, are part of the body’s immune system and help fight off infections. In other words, the body’s immune system response, as measured by neutrophil activity, signals that there’s an infection whether caused by a known, novel, or variant pathogen.

Previous studies by the researchers and other investigators had identified RNA biomarkers for infection in patients with inflammatory conditions such as appendicitis and pneumonia. Similar to their more recent findings with COVID patients, when they measured RNA levels in the patients’ blood, they detected an increase in neutrophil-related RNAs. When the pandemic hit, the researchers pivoted and applied their approach to identifying RNA biomarkers for COVID-19 infection detection and severity. The point-of-care device they’ve developed and are testing would be able to detect infection from pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, but would also have other useful applications.

If additional studies prove the test is effective, the researchers plan to seek an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Such authorization could take 6 months or longer, but if approved, the test would give clinicians a powerful tool in the fight against this and future pandemics.

“This test could prove very valuable during the pandemic, especially as variants continue to spread and doctors need to be confident in identifying the problem and providing effective treatment,” said Timothy McCaffrey, professor of medicine at GW and lead researcher on the project. “When we sequence whole blood RNA, we’re given a fuller, more dynamic picture of what’s happening inside the body, and our test helps identify those who need the more aggressive treatments.”

“Beyond the current pandemic, our technique would be able to detect any infection with a high degree of accuracy,” added McCaffrey. “That has applications for all sorts of conditions wherein doctors diagnosing patients need to quickly rule in or rule out whether they are dealing with an infection or something else.

Related Links:
George Washington University 

Gold Supplier
SARS-COV-2 PLUS UK Real Time PCR kit
SARS-COV-2 PLUS UK REALTIME PCR KIT
New
Silver Supplier
3-Part Diff Hematology Analyzer
Abacus Junior 30
New
Auto Clinical Chemistry Analyzer
Mispa Clinia Plus
New
Automated Pathology Workstation
NanoMtrx 100 & 300

Print article

Channels

Clinical Chem.

view channel
Image: The analysis pipeline used to investigate associations between blood metabolites, later life brain imaging measures, and genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease (Photo courtesy of University College London)

Lipid Measurements Show Potential as Alzheimer’s Disease Biomarkers

Brain changes accompanying ageing are varied and can include pathologies that lead to cognitive impairment, the commonest of which is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Identifying blood-based signatures of brain... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: Guidance UTI provides personalized results in less than one day from receipt at lab (Photo courtesy of Pathnostics)

Rapid Result Test for Complicated Urinary Tract Infections Proves Superior to Standard Urine Culture

Complicated urinary tract infections (cUTIs) are a significant burden on individual health and healthcare resources that must be diagnosed and treated early and accurately to reduce the risk of poor outcomes.... Read more

Hematology

view channel
Image: The CS-2500 analyzer features pre-analytic sample checks and four detection methods simultaneously on a single platform – coagulation end-point, chromogenic kinetic analysis, turbidimetric immunoassay and automated platelet aggregation (Photo courtesy of Sysmex)

Microvascular/Endothelial Dysfunction Contributes to Post-COVID Syndrome Pathogenesis

Post-COVID syndrome (PCS) or Long-COVID is an increasingly recognized complication of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, characterized by persistent fatigue, reduced exercise tolerance chest pain, shortness of... Read more

Industry

view channel
Image: Sales of lateral flow assays in clinical testing are expected to register a CAGR of 5% through 2032 (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Global Lateral Flow Assays Market to Surpass USD 11.5 Billion by 2032 Due to Evolving Applications

The global lateral flow assays market was valued at USD 7.2 billion in 2021 and is projected to register a CAGR of 4.7% during 2022-2032 to surpass USD 11.7 billion by the end of 2032, driven by the growing... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.