ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0440.v1
Online: 23 August 2021 (13:23:05 CEST)
Although, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus – 2 (SARS-CoV 2) represents one of the biggest challenges in the world today, the exact immunopathogenic mechanism that leads to severe or critical Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has remained incompletely understood. Several studies have indicated that high systemic plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines result in the so-called “cytokine storm”, with subsequent development of microthrombosis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and multiorgan-failure. Therefore, we reasoned that elevated inflammatory cytokine might act as prognostic factors. Here, we analyzed 245 serum samples of patients with COVID-19, collected at hospital admission. We assessed the levels of heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity- 2 (sST2), caspase cleaved cytokeratin 18 (cCK18), 20S proteasome, and tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR-1) and explored their associations with overall-, 30-, 60-, 90-day- and in-hospital mortality. Moreover, we investigated their association with the risk of ventilation. We demonstrated that increased serum sST2 was uni- and multivariably associated with all endpoints. However, we also identified 20S proteasome as independent prognostic factor for in-hospital mortality. Furthermore, elevated HSP27, sST2, and 20S proteasome levels at hospital admission were univariably associated with higher risk of invasive ventilation. These findings could help to identify high-risk patients early in the course of COVID-19.
Online: 12 February 2020 (12:21:43 CET)
Advancements in DNA methods and biotechnology have enabled forensic scientists to explore the DNA evidence found as part of a criminal investigation on a much more comprehensive and predictive level. This has led to a rise in research into DNA intelligence tools such as phenotypic prediction (i.e., eye and hair colour) and inference of biogeographical ancestry. Both of which can be applied to gain further insights about a scene or sample in question. Although microorganisms have played a role in forensics for decades, investigations were focused on the pathogenicity aspect, mainly to determine the cause and time of death. Recent progress in studying the human microbiome has implicated the potential use of this data in forensics. Since each individual, place, or item has its own microbial pattern, a new suite of tools are now available to be exploited in criminal investigations. Although there is much interest and potential for these emerging metagenomic and microbial forensic tools, best practices and reference ranges need to be established before they are implemented. Here, we discuss existing DNA intelligence tools applied to forensic science, the application of microbial forensics and metagenomics along with the challenges and concerns that future developments entail.