MicroRNAs (sequences of genetic material) can predict the severity of Covid-19

MicroRNAs, small sequences of genetic material that regulate various biological processes, are a biomarker capable of predicting the severity of covid-19, according to a study carried out by Spanish researchers from the National Center for Microbiology (CNM).

Doctors Amanda Fernández Rodríguez and María Ángeles Jiménez Sousa have for some time coordinated a team at the CNM that analyzes the genetic mechanisms that define the evolution, severity and mortality of covid-19.

Now, using genomic sequencing, they have managed to establish molecular fingerprints that appear early in SARS-CoV-2 infection, and have found that plasma microRNA is altered by the virus and generates genetic patterns that predict the severity of the disease. .

The results of the work have been published in the journal Emerging Microbes and Infection.

To carry out the study, the authors analyzed the profiles of microRNAs and other possible biomarkers of the immune response in the plasma of 96 covid-19 patients with different degrees of severity, from asymptomatic to moderate and severe.

Thus, they verified that there are up to 200 microRNAs whose expression is significantly different in these 96 patients compared to the control group (healthy people).

MicroRNAs thus confirm their key role in the control of viral infections, since the variations in their expression linked to the infection can be detected even before the virus itself.

The research, carried out in collaboration with various hospitals in the Community of Madrid, reveals a profound alteration in the expression of plasma microRNAs in patients with covid-19 at a very early stage of the disease, which has made it possible to identify different microRNA signatures associated with each level of severity.

These results also made it possible to generate a predictive model of mortality risk based on the profiles of 10 types of microRNAs, which demonstrates a great ability to discriminate between the different degrees of disease.

The authors explained that this research provides new evidence for the significant alteration in gene expression caused by SARS-CoV-2 and demonstrates the validity of microRNAs as early predictors of covid severity and mortality. -19.

Infections caused by viruses can alter the microRNA expression profile of the cells they infect, causing the onset and development of inflammatory processes and autoimmune pathologies, therefore, knowing the functioning of microRNAs during infections can improve disease knowledge and clinical management. ECE

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