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  • Blood Test could help Transform Care for Covid-19 Patients
    Professor James Chalmers

Blood Test could help Transform Care for Covid-19 Patients

Mar 27 2021 Read 49 Times

Professor James Chalmers, from the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine, has been awarded £32,000 from the University’s own Coronavirus Research Fundraising Campaign to develop a simple blood test that could identify those at increased risk of death from Covid-19.

Professor Chalmers and his team hope to develop a test that can detect the antimicrobial complex calprotectin, the release of which indicates the potentially harmful presence of neutrophil extracellular traps. Commonly known as NETosis, these are increasingly recognised as a factor in the severity of illness experienced by Covid-19 patients.

The researchers will take blood samples from patients with Covid-19 and work with a clinical team to determine whether a rapid “point of care” test is effective and reliable in recognising calprotectin, with the potential to give patients peace of mind and better treatment.

Professor Chalmers said, “We are delighted to receive this award, particularly knowing that this funding was provided by the generous support of members of the public.

“Our team have looked after many hundreds of patients in hospital with Covid-19 during this pandemic and one of the most difficult aspects is that while most people will recover completely, around a quarter of people admitted to hospital will get worse and end up needing to be treated with extra drugs or require a ventilator.

“Thanks to research conducted last year, we think we have found a simple blood test that can spot which people are going to get severe Covid-19, which would let us give better and earlier treatment. But we first need to prove that it works and that we can give results to doctors quickly enough to make a difference. This study will test exactly that.”

The University of Dundee Coronavirus Research Fundraising Campaign was launched to assist the scientific community with research that allows us to better understand Covid-19, and future coronaviruses.

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