Scientists know that around 19 percent of those infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes Covid-19, contract a severe case of the disease. But it’s been difficult to predict which patients are most at risk of life-threatening illness.
Now researchers at the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf have identified so-called biomarkers of elevated mortality and morbidity.
The key is symmetric (ADMA) and symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) levels in the blood. They allowed the research team to create an algorithm discriminating high risk 87.5% mortality) from intermediate risk (25% mortality) and low risk (0% mortality).
The applications of this discovery are not only diagnostic but also potentially preventive.
“The identification of novel risk factors or biomarkers leading to early identification of patients at high risk of dying of the SARS-CoV-2 infection might help to better target these patients to early monitoring and intervention,” wrote the research team in a paper published on May 10 in the journal Scientific Reports.