Serum extracellular vesicles trace COVID-19 progression and immune responses

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has transformed very quickly into a world pandemic with severe and unexpected consequences on human health. Concerted efforts to generate better diagnostic and prognostic tools have been ongoing. Research, thus far, has primarily focused on the virus itself or the direct immune response to it.

University of Zurich researchers propose extracellular vesicles (EVs) from serum liquid biopsies as a new and unique modality to unify diagnostic and prognostic tools for COVID-19 analyses. EVs are a novel player in intercellular signaling particularly influencing immune responses. They show that innate and adaptive immune EVs profiling, together with SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1+ EVs provide a novel signature for COVID-19 infection. It also provides a unique ability to trace the co-existence of viral and host cell signatures to monitor affected tissues and severity of the disease progression. And provide a phenotypic insight into COVID-associated EVs.


Schematic outline of ex vivo healthy PBMCs activation in the presence of PBS control and serum EVs from healthy donors and mild COVID-19 patients.

Yim KHW, Borgoni S, Chahwan R. (2022) Serum extracellular vesicles trace COVID-19 progression and immune responses. medRXiv [online preprint]. [abstract]

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