November 29, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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Discovery of sugar-coated antibodies that predict disease progression

Our antibodies – essential in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 – are coated with sugars

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers from 15 departments at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) discovered that they could do more for patients if they cooperated. In this way, the BEAT-COVID group is rapidly gaining knowledge about COVID-19, the role of the immune system and – more recently – the predictability of the course of the disease.

“Our antibodies – which are essential in fighting SARS-CoV-2 – are coated with sugars. Depending on how they are covered, the sugars can change the way the antibodies behave. Based on our study, which took 159 hospitalized patients (who had both mild and severe disease) and those who received follow-up examinations after hospital discharge), we found that certain coating patterns can be observed during the early stages of infection, and these reflect how the disease progresses.” explains Tamas Bongrach, PhD candidate in the Center for Proteomics and Metabolism (CPM) at LUMC. The results of the BEAT-COVID research group have been published in eBioMedicineas part of The Lancet Discovery Science.

at the clinic
“This is great news from a clinical perspective,” says Anna Rockins, MD, an internist in the division of infectious diseases at LUMC. According to Roukens, there are big differences between patients who are admitted to the general ward or to the intensive care unit (ICU): “That’s why we need to know who should stay in the hospital and who can be safely discharged home sick.” Despite this, throughout the pandemic, identifying people at greater risk of disease exacerbation has posed significant challenges. “We have seen countless times that young people who seemed fit at first suddenly ended up in the ICU. But now we know that certain sugars and coating patterns act as a ‘marker’ that can help us anticipate the severity of COVID-19 and make safer decisions. about hospitalization.

From Styles to Functions
“Despite our new insight into what these antibodies look like in patients admitted with varying degrees of disease, we still aren’t sure what they actually do during the course of COVID-19. For example, the study suggests a link between sugar coating patterns and inflammation., But How they contribute to disease mechanisms remains to be explored,” Bongrach notes. To address this, the researcher’s next step is to examine the antibody’s function at the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. “Once we find out, we can see if we can address the severity of COVID-19 in patients undergoing medical interventions,” Rockins concludes.

Want to know more about BEAT-COVID? Watch Anna Rockins talk PEP Youtube

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Name of author and/or editor by: LUMC
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original title: BEAT-COVID team discovers sugar-coated antibodies that predict disease progression
the target audience: Healthcare professionals and students
Date: 2022-05-03

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