Found a way to determine which patients with coronavirus are at high risk of developing complications due to infection. For example, scientists at the University of Washington School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that measuring mitochondrial DNA in the blood of patients with COVID-19 can help to find out which of them is at greatest risk of severe infection.
As it turned out, the level of mitochondrial DNA was high in those patients who were eventually admitted to the intensive care unit. They also had a high risk of early death.
At the same time, the age, gender of the patient or chronic diseases are not important here. It found that, on average, mtDNA levels were 10 times higher in those who developed severe lung dysfunction or who died from complications. As it turned out, an increase in the amount of mtDNA increased the risk of intubation sixfold, and intensive care – threefold and death – twofold. This is reported in an article published in the bioRxiv preprint repository. It was accepted for publication in JCI Insight.
In total, 97 patients who were infected with coronavirus took part in the study. They took blood plasma for the detection of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The mitochondrial DNA test was good at predicting the condition of patients. Moreover, it does not require complex and expensive equipment. It can be done as quickly as PCR analysis.