Swiss, German and French scientists have concluded that the number of killer T-cells in the blood of a patient with COVID-19 is a biomarker that can predict the severity of the coronavirus, even at an early stage of infection.
The team, led by Professor Burkhard Becher from the Institute for Experimental Immunology at the University of Zurich, in collaboration with scientists from France and Germany, has found that a biomarker for the course of COVID-19 can be the number of natural T-cells in the blood. It is specified that such cells belong to the type of white blood cells and are part of the early immune response.
“The number of natural killer T cells in the blood can be used to predict severe COVID-19 cases with a high degree of confidence even on the first day of a patient’s hospital stay,” according to a report published on the University of Zurich’s Web site Thursday, May 6.
Researchers anticipate that the new biomarker test will help doctors determine the type of treatment that will be needed for a particular patient. It will also allow them to decide whether to transfer a person to an intensive care unit.
According to Becher, immune responses to various pneumonias are very similar.
“However, when it comes to COVID-19, T cells and natural killer cells exhibit unique behavior and describe a kind of pattern in the immune system – an immune signature specific to COVID-19,” the scientist said.
Earlier in April, Salvatore Corrao, professor of medicine, said that in order to reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 disease, one should take vitamins C and D, melatonin and zinc. According to him, you should take 6 to 10 mg of melatonin every night.