Scientists Proposed A Way To Treat A Severe Form Of COVID-19
Russian and European scientists have developed a genetic method for predicting the risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19, accompanied by complications such as pneumonia and sepsis, and have also proposed a drug treatment option. The results of the study are published on the website of preprints BioRxiv.
The method is based on the concept of gene noise, developed by one of the authors of the work — Yuri Moshkin, a leading researcher at the Federal research center Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS and the founder of the Swiss Association Gene Learning.
Gene noise is a spontaneous deviation in gene expression, and changes in it-both increasing and decreasing — can lead to pathology. Given that sepsis (a life-threatening reaction of the immune system in response to infection) manifests itself differently each time, scientists have suggested that it is the gene noise that may be crucial in its pathology in COVID-19.
The results of the analysis of gene noise showed that it can be used for high-precision prediction of the risk of developing a severe form of coronavirus infection. According to the researchers, this will allow us to focus on treatment methods that will reduce the severity of the disease and increase survival, and the priority areas of emergency therapy should be the treatment of pneumonia and sepsis as the most common causes of death from COVID-19.
"In this way, we will save lives, and the patients' bodies will have time to form the most effective adaptive immunity that targets the pathogen of the disease," Moshkin's words are quoted by FITZ ICIG of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Studies have also shown that mitochondrial and peroxisome dysfunctions, which play a key role in the pathogenesis of sepsis, are potential targets for methylene blue and phenylbutyrate therapy.
Both of these drugs have long been used in clinical practice, which means that they do not require additional testing. These are cheap and safe medicines that have great potential as an auxiliary treatment for pneumonia and sepsis, the authors emphasize. The approach itself, according to them, is well within the framework of the currently popular direction of repositioning medicines.
"For adequate resistance to new pathogens, healthcare should have universal symptomatic treatment, the use of which allows you to buy the time necessary for the formation of specific immunity in patients, and for the creation of targeted drugs and vaccines," Moshkin said.
Scientists plan to continue research to provide physicians with a reliable method for predicting the risk of sepsis and viral pneumonia, not only in COVID-19 but also in diseases caused by other pathogens. According to the authors, this will significantly reduce the death rate from dangerous complications.