Early detection of COVID19-induced tissue damage and (hyper)inflammation from serum samples

Project Details


Corona viruses are constantly roaming the human population and are one of the causes for the common cold.SARS, MERS and COVID19 present more severe flu-like symptoms extending these symptoms to respiratory distress. Secondary symptoms include kidney problems, cardiovascular problems, diabetes and neurological signs, like headache and nausea. In the case of the SARS infection, it has been shown that the virus can invade the central nervous system in patients and laboratory animals. For COVID19, hyper-inflammation (“cytokine storm”) has been shown to be associated with disease severity and an increased mortality risk. Importantly, therapeutic approaches with inhibitors of cytokines like Tocilizumab, an interleukin (IL)-6 receptor antibody, have yielded first promising results. The infection of epithelial cells by a coronavirus will lead to a change of the cellular protein composition in response to the virus' ability to rewire the protein production and regulation. Virus-induced cell rupture leads to the release of proteins to the serum changing its composition. The released proteins in the serum are specific to certain cell types and will reveal proteins that indicate damage to specific tissues, in case of SARS: kidney, neurons and lung tissue. In this proposal, we aim at identifying proteins sets which indicate damage to secondary tissues. Moreover, we will investigate levels of cytokines and other inflammatory markers. We thereby expect to identify (sets of) diagnostic markers for the identification of high-risk patients which may further provide information about the best suitable treatment options.
Effective start/end date1/06/2031/03/21


  • FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche: €79,971.00


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