Blood test can identify lung COVID risk and enable early intervention | Technology News

Blood tests taken when people contract COVID can predict whether they are likely to develop long-term health problems, a new study suggests.

If the experimental test is validated by further research, it could lead to high-risk populations pulmonary disease Get antiviral treatment to prevent debilitating symptoms.

Researchers at University College London compared the levels of more than 90 blood proteins in 54 healthcare workers coronavirus disease and a healthy group of employees.

According to results published in the journal Lancet eBioMedicine, they found that several proteins were significantly disrupted for up to six weeks, even in those with mild symptoms.

Twenty of them predicted persistent symptoms a year later. Most are associated with anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory processes.

The researchers then used artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to scan the blood samples for proteins and successfully identified 11 health workers with lung COVID-19 infections.

Dr Wendy Heywood, one of the senior researchers at the Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health at UCL, said: “If we can identify people who may be at risk of developing chronic Covid-19, this will help in early trials of antiviral drugs. Waiting for treatments to open the door. Infection stage to see if it can reduce the risk of COVID later in the lungs.”

Kevin McConway, professor emeritus of applied statistics at the Open University, said the blood tests needed to be validated in larger studies to ensure the AI ​​algorithms were working properly.

“While their predictive tool looks promising, this study does not provide enough evidence that it can work in a broader context,” he said.

“All the data in this study comes from the first wave of the COVID pandemic, before new virus variants emerged and before vaccines were developed — when all the participants who were health care workers were exposed to a very specific set of conditions. It affects their work and the work of the country as a whole.”

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