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Proteomics of fibrin amyloid microclots in long COVID/post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)..., 2022, Kell & Pretorius et al

Discussion in 'Long Covid research' started by LarsSG, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. LarsSG

    LarsSG Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), also now known as long COVID, has become a major global health and economic burden. Previously, we provided evidence that there is a significant insoluble fibrin amyloid microclot load in the circulation of individuals with long COVID, and that these microclots entrap a substantial number of inflammatory molecules, including those that might prevent clot breakdown. Scientifically, the most challenging aspect of this debilitating condition is that traditional pathology tests such as a serum CRP (C-reactive protein) may not show any significant abnormal inflammatory markers, albeit these tests measure only the soluble inflammatory molecules. Elevated, or abnormal soluble biomarkers such as IL-6, D-Dimer or fibrinogen indicate an increased risk for thrombosis or a host immune response in COVID-19. The absence of biomarkers in standard pathology tests, result in a significant amount of confusion for patients and clinicians, as patients are extremely sick or even bed-ridden but with no regular identifiable reason for their disease. Biomarkers that are currently available cannot detect the molecules present in the microclots we identified and are therefore unable to confirm their presence or the mechanisms that drive their formation.

    Here we analysed the protein content of double-digested microclots of 99 long COVID patients and 29 healthy controls. The patients suffering from long COVID reported their symptoms through a questionnaire completed by themselves or their attending physician.

    Our long COVID cohort’s symptoms were found to be in line with global findings, where the most prevalent symptoms were constant fatigue (74%,) cognitive impairment (71%) and depression and anxiety (30%). Our most noteworthy findings were a reduced level of plasma Kallikrein compared to our controls, an increased level of platelet factor 4 (PF4) von Willebrand factor (VWF), and a marginally increased level of α-2 antiplasmin (α-2-AP). We also found a significant presence of antibodies entrapped inside these microclots.

    Our results confirm the presence of pro-inflammatory molecules that may also contribute to a failed fibrinolysis phenomenon, which could possibly explain why individuals with long COVID suffer from chronic fatigue, dyspnoea, or cognitive impairment. In addition, significant platelet hyperactivation was noted. Hyperactivation will result in the granular content of platelets being shed into the circulation, including PF4. Overall, our results provide further evidence of both a failed fibrinolytic system in long COVID/PASC and the entrapment of many proteins whose presence might otherwise go unrecorded. These findings might have significant implications for individuals with pre-existing comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

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  2. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    If that is the case, then doctors should not be diagnosing LC patients with M.E until they're properly tested to r/o other illnesses.

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