Experts took samples of acellular plasma from 97 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 pain. They also measured the level of circulating mitochondrial DNA in these samples. The biomaterial was obtained immediately after the patients sought medical help.
It turned out that circulating mitochondrial DNA was dramatically increased in those for whom the disease became fatal, and in those who required hospitalization in an intensive care unit or connection to a ventilator system.
The scientists explained that elevated levels of mitochondrial DNA are a risk factor regardless of age, gender, or underlying medical conditions.
According to the study authors, the relationship between the appearance of mitochondrial DNA released from cells and blood flow and the risk of complications and death from coronavirus remains uncertain. But it is known that this is a sign of a certain type of cell death in the body.
On average, the level of mitochondrial DNA was about ten times higher in patients who developed lung dysfunction and who later died. The risk of the need for a ventilator increases sixfold when the level of mitochondrial DNA rises, treatment in intensive care - threefold, and the risk of death - twofold.
Meanwhile, the number of victims of coronavirus infection in the world has exceeded two million. At the same time, China was warned that this is only a small part of the deaths, compared to what the planet can expect in the coming months - by March 2021, the number of victims of coronavirus infection may exceed five million. Countries with more than five million coronavirus infections include the United States, India and Brazil.