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Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

In the journal eBioMedicine, University College London researchers propose plasma proteome profiling as a potential strategy for finding individuals at risk of developing long Covid infections. Using a nested case-control approach, the team collected blood samples over time from 156 healthcare workers at hospitals in London, comparing targeted plasma proteome features in 54 SARS-CoV-2-infected, non-hospitalized individuals and 102 SARS-CoV-2-uninfected individuals over time. Based on data spanning 91 targeted plasma proteins, the authors describe proteome shifts that lasted up to six weeks in infected individuals, including changes in the levels of lipid, atherosclerosis, cholesterol metabolism, and other pathways. In addition, they note, the analyses uncovered a proteomic signature present at the time of infection that appeared to show promise for predicting "post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2," commonly known as long Covid, a year after the initial infection. "We show that signature biomarkers at the time of seroconversion for SARS-CoV-2 associates with the persistence of symptoms at 12 months," they report, noting that an iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis protein known as HSCB or HSC20 was the most predictive biomarker detected so far.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.