Magnetic resonance imaging specialist Bruker has developed a new nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based molecular research tool for the assessment of the risk of Long COVID, also known as Post-Acute Covid Syndrome (PACS), including multi-organ damage and cardiovascular disease risk associated with the infection.
The phenomics clinical research tool is called the PhenoRisk PACS RuO and is currently being developed for research use only.
The tool allows for multiplexed testing of several well-characterized risk biomarkers for the early detection of some Long COVID features.
The biomarkers are metabolic analytes (metabolites) found in the blood that were discovered at the Australian National Phenome Center (ANPC) at Murdoch University in Perth.
The early detection of markers associated with Long COVID could help patients receive early treatment and care to prevent complications and detrimental outcomes.
People with Long COVID, or “long-haulers,” have symptoms that can persist for weeks, months or longer, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, palpitations and impairments in cognition and mental health.
PhenoRisk PACS RuO is designed for research into early-stage risk factors, longitudinal recovery monitoring and potential damage of secondary organs in cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and kidney dysfunction and inflammation.
Bruker said the NMR-based test could quantitatively distinguish between PACS patients and healthy or fully recovered individuals through COVID-triggered pheno-conversion, which is defined as transient or persistent systemic change of the molecular signatures in human plasma samples after acute infection.
Ensuing pheno-reversion of metabolic signatures detected by PhenoRisk PACS RuO may indicate PACS recovery.
In addition to metabolic biomarkers, the assay can also detect proteomic markers such as glycoproteins (Glyc) and phospholipids associated with inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk. It can also measure a new NMR biomarker called supramolecular phospholipid composite (SPC).
In a news release, Bruker explained that these markers show “excellent discrimination of COVID-19 from controls, while the Glyc/SPC ratio has been proposed as a useful molecular marker for Long COVID, which could significantly augment current clinical and therapeutic research.”
This enables the evaluation of multi-organ risk, recovery and therapeutic research in several dysfunctions related to Long Covid.
“We are very excited to provide this multi-organ PACS risk screen to the clinical and pharmaceutical research community, after the preliminary validation by our partners in the International Covid-19 Research Network,” Bruker BioSpin applied, industrial and clinical division president Dr. Iris Mangelschots said in the company’s news release about the PhenoRisk PACS RuO tool.
Dr. Mangelschots added that the company believes “PhenoRisk PACS RuO could make a significant contribution in research to combat the effects of Long Covid.”