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Predicting respiratory deterioration in severe forms of COVID-19

Measuring the biomarkers of severely affected patients to predict the disease's evolution

Scientists and clinicians from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, and Saint-Antoine and Saint-Joseph hospitals are combining their skills to look for the respiratory aggravating factors of COVID-19. Their objective is to predict the disease's evolution with biomarkers and develop treatment strategies.

COVID-19 and immune response

Respiratory infection with SARS-CoV-2 virus is associated with a major risk of viral pneumonia that can lead to acute respiratory distress. In this situation, the immune response and control of the viral infection by the activity of the alveolar macrophage - a cell belonging to white blood cells - play a major role. The induced inflammatory reaction is a process essential to the elimination of pathogens by the macrophage, but it must be limited in intensity and duration, or it becomes detrimental to the infected organ. The cytokine storm, or immune system overreaction, reported as a cause for patient deterioration is currently being studied by many researchers. Beyond the role of cytokines, scientists and clinicians from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, and Saint-Antoine and Saint-Joseph hospitals are investigating the role of eicosanoids and phospholipases A2. Eicosanoids are lipid compounds that act as a mediator to the central nervous system, inflammatory events and the immune response. Phospholipases A2 are enzymes involved upstream in the synthesis of eicosanoids in the disease.

Saint Joseph Hospital

Healthy patient on the left, patient with SARS-CoV-2 on the right © Institut Pasteur 

Predictive biomarkers

The idea is to measure biomarkers on around 200 patients at different stages of the disease. Their objective is to predict the evolution of COVID-19 and develop treatment strategies that prioritize the use of drugs already tested by the team in phase 3 clinical trials.

Institut Pasteur

How the Air Liquide Foundation is participating

The support of the Air Liquide Foundation allows reagents and laboratory equipment to be purchased and analyses to be carried out.