Doctors learned early in the new coronavirus that the virus causes blood clots, leading to unexpected symptoms, including strokes and heart attacks,media BGR reported. Because these COVID-19 complications can be life-threatening, doctors have been treating patients with blood thinners. Researchers have now identified an antibody that causes blood clots to form, but they still can’t explain why some new crown patients have these harmful “autoantibodies.”
Scientists from the University of Michigan published a paper in scientific translational medicine detailing the role of so-called “autoantibodies” in COVID-19 in blood clotting. Autoantibodies are autoimmune antibodies that circulate in the blood like other antibodies, including neutral antibodies that prevent viral infections in cells. But these autoantibodies are harmful because they can lead to thrombosis. These in turn affect the function of the organ, causing various complications.
Co-author Dr Yogen Kanthi said the autoantibodies were observed in patients with an autoimmune disease called antiphospholipid syndrome.
“In patients with COVID-19, we continue to see a relentless, self-amplified cycle of inflammation and clotting in the body,” Kanthi said. “Now, we know that autoantibodies may be to blame for this cycle of clotting and inflammation, which makes people who are already struggling with the disease sicker.”
Jason Knight, another scientist involved in the study and a rheumatologist, said it was “quite surprising” that half of hospitalized COVID-19 patients tested positive for at least one autoantibodies. The researchers found that about 50 percent of patients with COVID-19 symptoms had high levels of autoantibodies and “ultra-active neutral granulocytes,” a “destructive, explosive white blood cell.”
They tested the two compounds in mice to see how effective they were. “Antibodies from patients with active COVID-19 infections produce amazing amounts of clotting in animals — the most severe clotting we’ve ever seen,” Kanthi said. “We have discovered a new mechanism where blood clots may occur in patients with COVID-19. “
But researchers still can’t explain what caused autoantibodies to form in the first place, so their findings may not be of direct use. In other words, there is still no way to prevent the production of bad antibodies. But they speculate that a treatment involving plasma replacement will eliminate autoimmune antibodies. As a result, the risk of clotting is reduced.
The researchers explained that people with the highest levels of autoantibodies performed worse at respiratory function. Avoiding the risk of clotting should improve the condition in patients with autoantibodies. Doctors also plan to study how long these antibodies remain in the blood circulation after COVID-19 recovers. Their findings may influence the use of plasma therapy in the future.
In addition, researchers are conducting a clinical trial of an anticoagulant called Dipyridamole to see if it can effectively fight clotting in some COVID-19 cases. “Double-stamol is a safe, cheap, and marketable old drug,” Kanthi said. “The FDA approved it 20 years ago to prevent clotting, but we’ve only recently discovered that it has the potential to prevent this particular type of inflammation from occurring in COVID.”