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COVID-19 not characterised by a cytokine storm

Inflammatory proteins known as cytokines play a crucial role in the immune response. If this response is too strong – a phenomenon known as “cytokine storm” – it can cause harm to the patient.

It had been thought that a cytokine storm contributes to disease severity in patients with COVID-19.

Following the measurement of several important cytokines in patients with COVID-19 and various other severe diseases, researchers said that COVID-19 is not characterised by a cytokine storm. This may have consequences for the treatment of these patients, the researchers write in JAMA.

Researcher Matthijs Kox said: “The level of cytokines was significantly less elevated in COVID-19 patients than in patients with septic shock and severe acute respiratory infection.”  

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Picture Credit | Science Photo Library

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