In a new study, researchers have developed a predictive metabolic model for COVID-19 infection that shows multi-organ effects.
They found COVID-19 is a multi-organ metabolic disease.
The research was conducted by a team at Murdoch University and the University of Cambridge.
In the study, the team collected blood plasma specimens from a group of Western Australian COVID-19 positive patients and a control group of healthy age and body mass matched participants to determine the key metabolic differences between the groups.
The samples were analyzed using state-of-the-art metabolic phenotyping technologies at the ANPC, which revealed a profound biological fingerprint of the disease that includes elements of liver dysfunction, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, and coronary heart disease risk.
These have all been found to be related to the long-term effects in patients that were affected by the original SARS virus.
These fingerprints mark systemic changes in biochemistry and are irrespective of the time of collection during the active disease process and independent of the overall severity of respiratory symptoms.
The team found the disease involves multiple organs and the majority of the patients show signs of newly presenting diabetes and liver damage irrespective of the severity of the lung symptoms.
Many of the metabolic features are not part of routine clinical chemistry testing.
This has immediate patient management implications because these morbidities might be occurring under the radar of the current testing paradigms as they can be quite subtle.
The team says these emergent health conditions need to be managed at the same time as the acute respiratory problems to optimize patient recovery.
What scientists do not know is how persistent these symptoms are or whether they change long terms of disease risks for recovered patients.
Detailed follow-up studies on recovered patients at the state and national level will be crucial to our understanding of long-term disease risks.
One author of the study is Professor Jeremy Nicholson, Director of the ANPC.
The study is published in the Journal of Proteome Research.
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