London, Dec 22 (IANS) A full blood count of Covid-19 patients predicts fairly accurately whether the infection will have a complicated course or not, says a new study.Such predictions can make it easier for healthcare providers to estimate the expected clinical picture. This study, conducted in eleven hospitals, was published in the journal eLife."By using certain techniques, the character of certain blood cells can be better determined and by using these new techniques, we have been able to develop a reliable prognostic score," said principal investigator Andre van der Ven of Radboud University Medical Center in in the Netherlands."This score gives a good insight into whether a serious course of events can be expected and can help healthcare professionals to make treatment decisions". In patients presenting to hospitals with a Covid-19 infection, full blood count analysis (hemocytometry) are commonly performed at the emergency department and during hospitalisation. Covid-19 is accompanied by specific changes in the circulating blood cells that are analysed by a full blood count. These changes in the blood cells, especially those that can be identified using new techniques, were used to create an algorithm with a predictive value. The developed algorithm appears to predict the course of Covid-19 better than the value of the individual blood cells, as used so far. The reliability increases to 93 per cent after six days, said the study.Using data generated by full blood count measurements, the researchers wanted to know if it is possible to predict whether a hospitalised Covid-19 patient will become seriously ill and needs treatment at the intensive care. For this purpose, they examined the data of 982 adult patients in eleven different hospitals across Europe. And this turned out to be possible: specific changes in the circulating blood cells of Covid-19 patients proved to be of use as indicators whether a serious course of events was expected.New laboratory techniques make it possible to detect whether immune cells in the blood are activated and it turned out that especially these activated cells were more present of Covid-19 patients with a severe course, including during the early course of the disease. In a second study population the researchers were able to confirm the value of the prognostic score.--IANSgb/sdr/
He told IANS in an exclusive interview that the pandemic's ill-effects on the Indian economy will soon be wiped out and it will bounce back in the next one year.Recalling the Centre's steps taken to tackle the economic situation, he pointed out that the central government had given as much as 10 per cent of the GDP as special package to revive the economy.As many as 80 crore citizens had been provided free ration, 8 crore women given free cooking gas cylinders for three months, Rs 93,000 crore transferred directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, and Rs 35,000 crore put in Jan Dhan accounts, he pointed out.These measures will help the Indian economy bounce back in a 'V' trajectory, the BJP leader claimed.Scindia recalled that timely decision by the Prime Minister to impose a nationwide lockdown in March last helped the country prepare itself to contain the pandemic. It also helped healthcare professionals and other stakeholders strengthen the health infrastructure and services.The BJP leader, who also had caught coronavirus infection in the past, pointed out that better medicines and treatment was now available to corona positive patients compared with the past few months.Scindia praised Modi and said that his efforts amid the coronavirus infections had saved the lives of lakhs of Indians. He said that coronavirus cases in India were less by 15 per cent compared with the US which has a population of 30 crore whereas India has 130 crore. --IANS<br>snp-skp/tsb
<br>"It has been observed by experts here at PGIMER that indiscriminate use of steroids in mild or initial stages of COVID disease can exaggerate the infection and may increase the severity of the disease," it said.The institute also cautioned over the use of steroids only under clinical watch. The institute said that its experts had recommended not to use steroids for patients who do not require oxygen therapy."They (steroids) should not be used indiscriminately and without any valid indication," it said."Steroids should be started in COVID patients only when they require oxygen therapy and that also preferably after admission to the hospital under the supervision of an experienced physician," the institute cautioned.However, the statement by PGIMER is more of an advisory than observation. As per Prof G.D. Puri, Dean Academics & Head Deptt of Anesthesia & Intensive Care, the institute had arrived at the observation largely on the basis of an already published study. "No study was conducted by us (PGIMER). We have stated our observation regarding the use of steroids based on an already published research," he told IANS.Meanwhile, the premier institute also cited 'Recovery Trial', the study of Dexamethasone, a steroid, conducted in the United Kingdom (UK) in March, to reinforce their observation. "Even the 'Recovery Trial' published from England has shown that steroids given in early stages of COVID-19, i.e. when a patient does not require oxygen, can increase the mortality and morbidity of the COVID patients. Hence, it is advisable not to use these drugs," the institute stated.--IANS<br>str/kr
New York - Being previously infected with a coronaviruses that cause the 'common cold' may decrease the severity of (SARS-CoV-2) infections, the virus behind Covid-19, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, however, also demonstrated that the immunity built up from previous non-SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infections does not prevent individuals from getting Covid-19.
The findings provide important insight into the immune response against SARS-CoV-2, which could have significant implications on Covid-19 vaccine development.
"Our results show that people with evidence of a previous infection from a "common cold" coronavirus have less severe Covid-19 symptoms," said study author Manish Sagar from Boston University in the US.
While SARS-CoV-2 is a relatively new pathogen, there are many other types of coronaviruses that are endemic in humans and can cause the "common cold" and pneumonia.
These coronaviruses share some genetic sequences with SARS-CoV-2, and the immune responses from these coronaviruses can cross-react against SARS-CoV-2.
In this study, the researchers looked at electronic medical record data from individuals who had a respiratory panel test (CRP-PCR) result between May 18, 2015 and March 11, 2020.
The CRP-PCR detects diverse respiratory pathogens including the endemic "common cold" coronaviruses. They also examined data from individuals who were tested for SARS-CoV-2 between March 12, 2020 and June 12, 2020.
After adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, and diabetes mellitus diagnosis, Covid-19 hospitalized patients who had a previous positive CRP-PCR test result for a coronoavirus had significantly lower odds of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and lower trending odds of requiring mechanical ventilation during Covid.
The probability of survival was also significantly higher in Covid-19 hospitalized patients with a previous positive test result for a "common cold" coronoavirus.
However, a previous positive test result for a coronavirus did not prevent someone from getting infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Another interesting finding, the authors noted, is that immunity may prevent disease (Covid-19) in ways that are different from preventing infection by SARS-CoV-2.
This is demonstrated by the fact that the patient groups had similar likelihoods of infection but differing likelihoods of ending up in the ICU or dying. (Agency)
New York - The combined effects of the body's natural community of bacteria, also called microbiota, working together with Covid-19 in the lungs could explain the severity of the disease in people with obesity and diabetes, say researchers.
The review, published in the journal eLife, offers important mechanistic insights into why people with obesity and diabetes seem to be at increased risk of developing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) after infection with the Covid-19 virus, and more often require hospitalisation and ventilation.
"There is rapidly emerging evidence highlighting obesity and type 2 diabetes as key risk factors linked to severity of Covid-19 infections in all ethnic groups," said study author Philipp Scherer from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, Dallas in the US.
In their article, the research team revisit the factors and disease pathways that connect obesity and diabetes to the severity of Covid-19 infection.
The mechanisms can be roughly divided into two groups: those connected with the ACE2 receptor, and those providing an interaction between Covid-19 and pre-existing bacterial conditions.
ACE2 resides on the surface of many cells in the human body and is involved in regulating fluid volumes, blood pressure and the function of blood vessels. It is also used by Covid-19 to enter human cells.
One theory is that increased amounts of ACE2 in people with obesity or diabetes makes it easier for the virus to enter cells and increases the viral load -- an important factor in determining disease severity.
Alternatively, increased shedding of ACE2 in people with obesity causes it to move to the lungs, where the virus can use it.
Another factor known to be influential in the progression of lung diseases is our body's microbiota. We carry more than 100 trillion bacteria in our body -- outnumbering the number of our own cells.
The team considered how host bacteria might influence Covid-19 severity.
One potential culprit is the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) that bacteria produce, which have been shown to cooperate with other coronaviruses to induce SARS in pigs.
It is possible that these LPS molecules join forces with Covid-19 in humans and trigger a chain of events that causes healthy tissue to transform into scarred tissue -- as Covid-19 does in the lungs.
"While all of these potential mechanisms can contribute to the severity of Covid-19, we believe that one of them plays the predominant role, and that this must be present not only in obese and diabetic patients, but also in other groups of increased risk in Covid-19," Scherer explained. --IANS
London, New research adds to the growing body of evidence that patients with obesity are facing more serious Covid-19 disease and higher mortality risk than patients without obesity.
At the beginning of April, both general and intensive care admissions for Covid-19 began to rise sharply in Lille University Hospital (LUH), and across France and other European countries.
"Our data show that the chances of increasing to more severe disease increase with BMI, to the point where almost all intensive care COVID-19 patients with severe obesity will end up on a ventilator," said study author Francois Pattou from the LUH in France.
An analysis conducted by the LUH included 124 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions with Covid-19, and compared them with 306 patients who had been in ICU for other reasons, without Covid-19.
The data showed that among ICU patients with Covid-19, around half had obesity (BMI above 30), with a quarter having severe obesity (BMI of 35 or above).
Most of the remaining patients (around 40 per cent) were overweight, with only around 10 per cent of patients in the healthy weight range (BMI 25 or under).
Among the non-Covid-19 ICU patients, the story was very different: a quarter had obesity or severe obesity; a further quarter was overweight, and around half fell into the healthy weight range.
A similar trend emerged regarding which ICU patients with Covid-19 had to be put on ventilators. Of the 89 requiring mechanical ventilation, more than half had obesity or severe obesity, while most of the other patients were overweight.
According to the study, patients with a BMI in the healthy range of 25 and under made up less than 10 per cent of patients needing a ventilator.
Looking specifically at the individual BMI groups, almost all patients Covid-19 ICU patients with severe obesity (87 per cent) needed a ventilator, dropping to 75 per cent for 'regular' obesity (BMI 30-35), 60 per cent for patients in the overweight category, and 47 per cent for those in the healthy BMI range.
The study was scheduled to be presented at The European and International Congress on Obesity (ECOICO 2020) online conference from September 1-4.
Recently, a study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that Covid-19 patients hospitalised with high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes were over three times more likely to die from the viral disease.
Earlier, another research published in the European Journal of Endocrinology, also found that the risk of greater Covid-19 severity and death is higher in people with any obese body mass index (BMI).
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