In a new study, researchers found a connection between destructive white blood cells and a more severe disease course in patients with COVID-19.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Michigan.
The researchers analyzed blood samples from 50 patients with COVID-19 for this publication.
They found that patients with COVID-19 infection have higher blood levels of neutrophil extracellular traps, also called NETs, which are a product of an inflammatory type of neutrophil cell death called NETosis.
The team says in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an urgent need to better understand what causes the inflammatory storm and blood clots triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection—a storm that leads to respiratory failure and a requirement for mechanical ventilation in many patients.
They believe NETs may be relevant to many aspects of COVID-19 research, given that thrombosis and inflammation are hallmarks of severe infection.
The lead author of the study is Yu (Ray) Zuo, M.D., a Michigan Medicine rheumatologist.
The study is published in JCI Insight.
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