New Blood Test Accurately Predicts Which COVID-19 Patients Will Develop Severe Infection

COVID 19 Coronavirus Blood Test

Test could inform doctors on best treatment options.

Scientists have developed, for the first time, a score that can accurately predict which patients will develop a severe form of Covid-19.

The study, led by researchers at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, is published in The Lancet’s translational research journal EBioMedicine.

The measurement, called the Dublin-Boston score, is designed to enable clinicians to make more informed decisions when identifying patients who may benefit from therapies, such as steroids, and admission to intensive care units.

Until this study, no Covid-19-specific prognostic scores were available to guide clinical decision-making. The Dublin-Boston score can now accurately predict how severe the infection will be on day seven after measuring the patient’s blood for the first four days.

Prof. Gerry McElvaney and Prof. Ger Curley

Professor Gerry McElvaney (left), the study’s senior author and a consultant in Beaumont Hospital, and Professor Ger Curley (right) stand in front of the RCSI Education and Research Centre in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. Credit: Ray Lohan

The blood test works by measuring the levels of two molecules that send messages to the body’s immune system and control inflammation. One of these molecules, interleukin (IL)-6, is pro-inflammatory, and a different one, called IL-10, is anti-inflammatory. The levels of both are altered in severe Covid-19 patients.

Based on the changes in the ratio of these two molecules over time, the researchers developed a point system where each 1-point increase was associated with a 5.6 times increased odds for a more severe outcome.

“The Dublin-Boston score is easily calculated and can be applied to all hospitalised Covid-19 patients,” said RCSI Professor of Medicine Gerry McElvaney, the study’s senior author and a consultant in Beaumont Hospital.

“More informed prognosis could help determine when to escalate or de-escalate care, a key component of the efficient allocation of resources during the current pandemic. The score may also have a role in evaluating whether new therapies designed to decrease inflammation in Covid-19 actually provide benefit.”

The Dublin-Boston score uses the ratio of IL-6 to IL-10 because it significantly outperformed measuring the change in IL-6 alone.

Despite high levels in blood, using only IL-6 measurements as a Covid-19 prognostic tool is hindered by several factors. IL-6 levels within the same patient vary over the course of any given day, and the magnitude of the IL-6 response to infection varies between different patients.

Reference: “A linear prognostic score based on the ratio of interleukin-6 to interleukin-10 predicts outcomes in COVID-19” by Oliver J McElvaney, Brian D Hobbs, Dandi Qiao, Oisín F McElvaney, Matthew Moll, Natalie L McEvoy, Jennifer Clarke, Eoin O’Connor, Seán Walsh, Michael H Cho, Gerard F Curley and Noel G McElvaney, 8 October 2020, EBioMedicine.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.103026

The Dublin-Boston score was developed by researchers from RCSI, Harvard University, Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

25 Comments on "New Blood Test Accurately Predicts Which COVID-19 Patients Will Develop Severe Infection"

  1. Don’t pre judge me please.

  2. I got it. I GIT IT! Let’s spend taxpayer money funding multi hundred thousand dollar doctor types so they can develop a test that requires 2 months of trending blood tests to tell you how much at risk you are of dying in a week. It is very important because the risk of anyone dying or being really sick are less than 2 in 1000. Talk about wasting money.

  3. In many ways the government health care system is responsible for most of the covid deaths. They conserve funds and withhold treatment to try and minimize the treatment given so as to match the disease progression. It is kind of like putting down a widely disbursed spray pattern of weak ant killer because you saw only 5 ants. As President Trump showed, hitting the disease hard right up front does the trick. I guess the decision is if you want to minimize treatment over time (increasing cost and profit) or maximize recovery over a short time as shown to be successful on President Trump. What’s more certain. Pouring a gallon of pool acid down the ant hole or one ant tab a few feet away?

  4. This seems to be a great advancement, useful for determining which patients will need more aggressive and expensive treatments. Sounds like it would only be administered to people who are already hospitalized. Mortality rates for these people are getting better but is still much too high. The last study I saw had 35% of older hospitalized Covid-19 patients dying.

  5. President Trump has the best available healthcare resources in the world. It’s not realistic to expect that for everyone

  6. Welcome bassaja from the surreal alternate reality of Donald Trump, where fact-free bravado replaces evidence, but be careful your visit to data-driven articles doesn’t make you miss a MAGA rally. Gosh, maybe you could catch the virus from the Trumpster himself!

  7. Had Trump not closed the Pandemic Response team we wouldn’t be in this predicament

  8. Apparently some of the posts don’t have any medical education talk about idiots more than 2 in 1000 is fake news

  9. Let me guess all the false positive will be fine!

  10. Carolyn Andrla | October 17, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    If you are going to place blame on someone… Why don’t you blame those whose back yard that it came out of? The problem is with China. And Jeffmom why do you wish bad things to happen to others? This virus is not a respecter of anyone. And sometimes it’s not bravado, but facing the things that we don’t know enough about. Like the pandemic.

  11. sure, blame China. Now you’re wasting time while infection rates accelerate. It’s everywhere NOW. Time to grow up and deal with it now.

  12. Why don’t you all get
    your minds together and help instead I’ll help with logistically, any takers.

  13. Why don’t we stop spending a billion dollars on Trump to golf & shop
    &
    Spend those billions on caring for sick Americans affected from Trump’s poor Pandemic response that’s killed over 200,000 people. I got it, some people think certain people should die even though they have paid taxes to support those politicians healthcare who just don’t care about science that may help cure the NOBODYS

  14. You got the nerve

  15. 1.Maybe We all need a Chill pill.
    2. Covid-19 is here, is real, and Is Not going to suddenly disappear.
    3. Blaming, finger pointing,and politics will not fix it.
    4.Science and Medicine perspectives change daily.
    5. Maybe It’s time to admit as humans we are powerless to control all things, 6.Maybe there is a very disappointed Universal Father, waiting for his children to realize they are reaping the consequences for their actions.
    7. Maybe we need Him.

  16. Not maybe. Definitely need Him.

  17. I think the “Universal Father” is way more than disappointed. It’s time to wake up and realize. If he hasn’t caught your attention by now and made a believer out of non believers I don’t know what to tell you!

  18. What an absolute lie covid has not been isolated. When any death with covid is counted as covid and medical reimbursements are sky high for hospitals who admit under such (false) diagnosis … its a joke. Look up the cdc documents for yourself and stop looking at propaganda

  19. Funny how people always have to blame someone else. I don’t recall us doing this in past years with the flu and we’ve had really terrible cases in the past. Covid-19 likes overweight, unhealthy, compromised and elderly people the most, so what does that say about what we’ve become? I wouldn’t be surprised if we will eventually be suing big food industries for making us all fat and sick. This guy has got some good info. https://carnivoremd.com/how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-ends-with-ivor-cummins/

  20. Katherine Sowers | October 18, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Reply

    I worry that a score on the test could be used to write off those that treatment will require long and expensive use.

  21. Bussa, Since when does Trump(oryou) have an infectious disease medical degree? The man denies science and was calling it a hoax. In March! Please….

  22. StopTheExtremes | October 18, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Reply

    Why are people so obsessed with death rates? I don’t want to be hospitalized for a week or more either…

  23. @busseja…I can tell that you are under the assumption, that you are highly intelligent. Perhaps you recieved one too many PARTICIPATION TROPHIES or your parents were very generous in praising how brilliant you were. Whatever the case may be, you don’t sound very bright. You actually sound as though you have listened to too many TED talks or watched more “This is Just a Hoax Folks!” reality tv. (Fox News,at times, falls under this category) Be patient!!! The death toll is climbing at an already alarming rate. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. I lost a dear friend of mine to this ‘Oh, it’s not serious’ $#!%ing virus. She was an RN in a large hospital in Arizona. No underlying health issues. She was physically fit,in her early 50’s. Her husband is a Physician at the same hospital. She used some of the last precious moments of her life WARNING EVERYONE, to take this seriously. She had been dealing with critically ill Covid patients for a couple of months. Sadly, she knew what to expect. This was in Covids first couple of months. She told her family Goodbye over Skype and waving thru a window out to the hallway. HAD THERE HAVE BEEN A TEST THAT PREDICTED HOW SERIOUS SHE WAS GOING TO BE…MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, Her and the millions who have lost their lives to this hideous virus, WOULD STILL BE HERE, ALIVE!!! I bet you’re one of those “anti-maskers” also. Am I right? WAAAAAA! You can’t take away my FREEDOM by making me wear a MASK!!! That’s so ignorant. A simple, simple and inexpensive way to slow community spread. Ignorance, is unfortunately , also VERY CONTAGIOUS! There’s a lot of that making the rounds across our country. Research and tests are absolutely necessary if we ever hope to,at the very least, contain this. YES,IT’S EXPENSIVE! GUESS WHAT ELSE IS EXPENSIVE?? LOSS OF LIFE, HEALTHCARE, UNEMPLOYMENT, BANKRUPTCY, MAINTAINING AND MANAGING CDC, SCIENTISTS,INFECTIOUS DISEASE PHYSICIANS, SMALL BUSINESSES, TIME OFF FOR ILLNESS…I could go on and on, but surely you get the picture. My apologies for rambling on so long. Your comment about being a waste of time and or money truly made my head explode. To everyone else, enjoy your Sunday evening and stay safe by following all of the guidelines.

  24. IM THE PERSON THE ONE PERSON . IN THE DISCOVERY OF COVA19. GERM TRAVELS IN AIR BUBBLES. IN WATER . IN THE BLOOD IN BUBBLES. IN THE BODY. I MADE this Discovery on July30,2020. Email me I send you pictures. In tap water and frozen tap water. [email protected]

  25. Quote from article: “The Dublin-Boston score can now accurately predict how severe the infection will be on day seven after measuring the patient’s blood for the first four days.”

    I don’t know where you got the “requires 2 months of trending blood tests to tell you how much at risk you are of dying in a week.

    I’ve re-read the article in an attempt to make sense of your issue with this, and don’t understand. Perhaps you should re-read the article as well and clarify where it says it’s 2 months of trending blood tests.

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