Urine of COVID-19 patients could predict who will develop severe disease
Rockville, Md. -Urine analysis of COVID-19 patients revealed elevated levels of specific biomarkers of the immune system compared to those who were not infected with the coronavirus. In addition, levels of these inflammatory markers were higher in patients with comorbidities such as high blood pressure and diabetes, according to researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit. The findings will be presented virtually at the American Physiological Society's (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2021.
Currently, the most accurate test for the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is RT-PCR. However, it can take a day or more on most RT-PCR platforms to obtain results, and the technology may be too expensive for some hospitals and clinics.
The identification of genetic material of the virus by RT-PCR is the gold standard test, but its sensitivity is not satisfactory. The diagnosis of COVID-19 should be based on clinical data, epidemiological history, tests for etiological diagnosis, and tests to support the diagnosis of the disease and/or its complications. New diagnostic methods with higher sensitivity and specificity, as well as faster results, are necessary.
Researchers said they undertook this study in hopes of determining whether biomarkers of COVID-19 could predict which individuals will develop "overly exuberant immune responses," also called a cytokine storm. They chose to screen the urine of COVID-19 patients because of its non-invasive nature that doesn't require the use of needles or blood samples.
Scientists said they hope the results of this study will translate to a regular screening process for COVID-19 patients to predict who is more likely to develop severe disease and to aid in a successful treatment strategy.