A discovery by the Hellenic Group for the Study of Sepsis in Serious Illness, through research conducted at the Attikon Hospital laboratories, opens up a new window for the treatment of the severe pneumonia caused by COVID-19.
The Professor of Pathology-Infectious Diseases at the 4th Department of Pathology at Attikon Hospital, Vangelis Yamarellos, who is also the coordinator of the Hellenic Group for the Study of Sepsis in Serious Illness, speaking exclusively to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, said that the group took blood samples from very first Greek patients suffering from pneumonia and severe respiratory failure.
"These blood samples were analysed at Attikon Hospital, and the Hellenic Group for the Study of Sepsis in Serious Illness discovered the mechanism by which this virus causes the collapse of the immune system, leading to severe pneumonia, where the patient suddenly feels shortness of breath and needs to be intubated," he said. The research revealed two "target" points, Yamarellos said, explaining that these were molecules circulating in the blood, which, if there could be an intervention to block them using biological agents (monoclonal antibodies), then there would be high hopes of curing the patients.
This analysis, according to the professor, "was presented to the Public Health Emergency Response to Infectious Diseases Committee on Tuesday and forms the basis of a valid protocol for initiating treatment," he added.
There is also a blood test available, revealed Yamarellos, "which can diagnose which patient will need treatment very early on, and it is proposed that this test also be included in the protocol".