Platelets are concerned in blood coagulation and the event of thrombosis. Researchers from Utrecht College, UMC Utrecht, and Erasmus MC have now found that additionally they play a job within the immune system: They seem like indispensable in defending the respiratory system in opposition to pathogens. “In sufferers with flu, the platelets take up virus particles from the lungs, after which they return to the bloodstream,” says lead researcher Erhard van der Vries. This perception can also be necessary for analysis into coagulation and acute cardiovascular issues in COVID-19 sufferers, similar to strokes and blood clots within the pulmonary vessels.
The researchers investigated how platelets take up virus particles. That course of seems to rely on the binding of flu viruses to sugar molecules on the blood platelets. Their analysis exhibits a direct relationship between the diploma of virus binding and the severity of the flu: the stronger the virus binds to the blood platelets, the extra extreme the flu.
This discovery additionally explains why a respiratory an infection similar to influenza or COVID-19 can result in acute platelet loss (thrombocytopenia). The function of platelets in infections with a flu virus was not beforehand identified. This information can also have penalties for analysis into coagulation issues and acute cardiovascular issues in COVID-19 sufferers, similar to blood clots within the pulmonary vessels or strokes.
That there’s a relationship between respiratory tract infections and acute cardiovascular occasions was already identified. For instance, the weekly mortality fee linked to cardiovascular occasions exhibits a seasonal sample, which coincides with the annual flu season. Conversely, aged individuals who get the flu shot are 20 p.c much less more likely to find yourself in hospital due to cardiovascular occasions or a stroke. The researchers anticipate to see the identical relationship in COVID-19 sufferers. The double operate of blood platelets—in blood coagulation and within the immune system—could play a key function on this.
Van der Vries says, “We all know from worldwide analysis that the flu shot tremendously reduces the chance of acute cardiovascular illnesses, similar to strokes. The mechanism behind this was hitherto unknown. This analysis exhibits that an early immune response of platelets performs an necessary function throughout the flu. Nevertheless, the identical immune response may result in issues in sure conditions. This appears to be the case, for instance, in COVID-19 sufferers, the place the immune response may result in a pulmonary embolism, inflicting sufferers to finish up within the ICU. We now need to examine this additional in animals and people with a multidisciplinary staff of virologists, hematologists and immunologists.”
The function of platelets within the immune system requires additional investigation. An necessary query that the researchers nonetheless hope to reply is when platelets find yourself within the lungs throughout the flu, the place they then go and the way they share their collected virological data with different immune cells. Hospitals may particularly take a look at the connection between respiratory tract infections and platelet data from blood exams. This information could presumably assist in the prognosis of pneumonia.
The findings of this analysis can also contribute to the event of recent therapies for acute cardiovascular issues and the prediction of issues in respiratory tract infections. In the long run, they might additionally assist in the event of higher vaccination methods.
COVID-19 causes ‘hyperactivity’ in blood-clotting cells
Erhard van der Vries et al. Influenza-induced thrombocytopenia is subtype and sialoglycan receptor dependent and will increase with virus pathogenicity – Platelets mediate influenza clearance. Blood Advances (2020). DOI: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2020001640
Platelets discovered to be concerned in coagulation and host protection, presumably additionally in case of coronavirus (2020, July 1)
retrieved 1 July 2020
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