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Monitoring the evolution of COVID-19

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Blood levels of a particular protein can indicate the severity of coronavirus infections and guide the response of the attending health care team. Researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Ribeirão Preto and the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) found that an increased concentration of the Trem-1 protein is associated with unfavorable outcomes. They monitored 44 COVID-19 patients isolating at home and 47 in hospital, and compared their progress with 30 uninfected individuals. They were thus able to classify the disease into four degrees: mild, moderate, severe, and critical (medRxiv, September 23). Other biological markers of the disease’s severity have already been identified. “However, none of these indicators can stratify severity levels as well and predict how the disease will progress as accurately as Trem-1,” Lúcia Faccioli, a biologist from USP who led the study alongside chemist Carlos Sorgi, told Agência FAPESP.