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Eosinophils linked to viral over-reaction

Monday August 10th 2020

Eosinophils are the white blood cells that may play a key role in the damaging over-reaction of the immune system to COVID-19 infection in severe cases, according to Swedish researchers.

A study conducted at the Karolinska Institut, Stockholm, has found that the eosinophils “expanded” in the blood shortly before patients suffered from hyperinflammation and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The research, reported in Cell Reports Medicine, involved a study of samples provided from severely ill patients in Helsinki, Finland. Doctors had collected up to 14 samples from each patient.

The research showed that another white blood cell, basophils, were involved in developing strong antibody responses.

Researcher Dr Petter Brodin said: “These findings are valuable in improving the clinical evaluation of patients and in the development of new treatments that modulate and mitigate the over-reaction of the immune system in patients with severe COVID-19.”

* Worldwide the number of diagnosed cases of infection with the virus passed 20 million over the weekend. There have been some 733,000 deaths recorded.

Systems-level immunomonitoring from acute to recovery phase of severe COVID-19. Cell Reports Medicine 5 August 2020

https://www.cell.com/cell-reports-medicine/fulltext/S2666-3791(20)30099-9

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses

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