July 1, 2020

COVID-19 causes hyperactivity in blood platelets

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

COVID-19 is associated with substantial alterations in the platelet transcriptome and proteome, and greater platelet hyper-reactivity, this study finds.

Researchers examined 41 hospitalized COVID-19 patients at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City. Of these, 17 were in the ICU and nine were on ventilators.


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Blood samples from the COVID-19 patients were compared with samples from healthy individuals matched for age and gender.

Using differential gene analysis, the researchers found that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, triggered genetic changes in platelets. The changes also significantly altered how platelets interacted with the immune system.

The findings demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection is linked to platelet hyper-reactivity, which may contribute to COVID-19 pathophysiology, the authors say. The data may serve as a foundation for ongoing studies investigating whether targeting platelets during COVID-19 may improve patient outcomes.

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