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NMR Test Enables Risk Screening for Long COVID Syndrome

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Jul 2022
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Image: ANPC Molecular Phenomics NMR Lab (Photo courtesy of Bruker)
Image: ANPC Molecular Phenomics NMR Lab (Photo courtesy of Bruker)

Recent research has demonstrated that nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) plays a pivotal role in measuring COVID-19 progression based on phenomic molecular signatures and also provides new insights into various PACS mechanisms of action, as well as into Long COVID clinical management and treatment options. Now, a new NMR test is available for molecular phenomics research on ‘Long COVID’ patients’ blood samples, using a multiplexed combination of biomarkers.

Bruker Corporation (Billerica, MA, USA) has launched PhenoRisk PACS RuO test which is promising for research on early-stage risk factors, on longitudinal recovery monitoring and on potential secondary organ damage in cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, kidney dysfunction and inflammation. It consists of an Avance IVDr NMR spectroscopy system that is testing several biological mechanisms of action simultaneously in a 20-minute blood-test from SARS-CoV-2 acute infection survivors who suffer long-term sequelae, termed either Post-Acute COVID Syndrome (PACS), or commonly known as ‘Long COVID’ syndrome.

The PhenoRisk PACS RuO test characterizes metabolic and proteomic biomarkers of SARS-CoV-2 pathobiology, even in asymptomatic acute COVID cases, thereby enabling multi-organ risk assessment, recovery and therapeutic research in multiple Long COVID dysfunctions. The new NMR test has the potential to quantitatively discriminate PACS patients from healthy or fully recovered individuals by studying COVID-triggered pheno-conversion, defined as transient or persistent systemic change of the molecular signatures in human plasma samples after acute infection. Subsequent pheno-reversion of metabolic signatures detected by PhenoRisk PACS RuO may indicate PACS recovery.

In addition to metabolism analytes, PhenoRisk PACS RuO quantifies composite signals for groups of glycoproteins and phospholipids, which can indicate inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk, as well as a new NMR biomarker called Supramolecular Phospholipid Composite (SPC). These markers show excellent discrimination of COVID-19 from controls, while the Glyc/SPC ratio has been proposed as a useful molecular marker for Long COVID, which could significantly augment current clinical and therapeutic research.

“PhenoRisk PACS RuO is an automated, easy to use and standardized approach to investigate the complex metabolomic signatures induced by SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Oscar Millet, leader of the Precision Medicine and Metabolism group at CIC bioGUNE. “It enables clinical research on the screening and monitoring of long-term sequelae after acute COVID-19, in patients with Long COVID syndrome, and even in asymptomatic subjects – a breakthrough in understanding PACS.”

“We are very excited to provide this multi-organ PACS risk screen to the clinical and pharmaceutical research community, after the preliminary validation by our partners in the International COVID-19 Research Network,” added Dr. Iris Mangelschots, President of Bruker BioSpin’s Applied, Industrial and Clinical Division. “We believe that PhenoRisk PACS RuO could make a significant contribution in research to combat the effects of Long COVID.”

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