Research findings could unlock new treatments for COVID-19

Researchers now have a better understanding of the immune system in those experiencing long COVID-19 thanks to a newly published study funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

The study team were examining a type of immune cell called monocyte which travels through a person’s blood stream to their lungs where they surround and help kill the virus.

The researchers working at NIHR’s Manchester and Leicester Biomedical Research Centres (BRC) analysed blood samples from 71 hospitalised patients with acute COVID-19, 142 patients attending clinics after discharge from COVID-19, and healthy frontline workers.

It was subsequently established that irregular migration of these cells is linked to shortness of breath, as when investigating patients’ monocyte migratory signatures, the researchers discovered that long COVID-19 patients with shortness of breath had unique profiles compared to long COVID-19 patients with ongoing fatigue and those experiencing no symptoms at all.

The NIHR have indicated that the study findings could open up new research avenues and support the development of new treatments for COVID-19.

The study’s lead, Dr Elizabeth Mann, Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow at the University of Manchester’s Lydia Becker Institute, said: “Our work finding a link between monocyte function and specific long COVID symptoms may provide an important first step on the road to possible treatments.”

Tracy Hussell, who is a Professor of Inflammatory Disease and Programme Lead in the Next Generation Phenotyping and Diagnostics Theme at NIHR Manchester BRC, added: “This study is a prime example of the ‘one Manchester’ approach that provides seamless integration between clinicians and scientists under the umbrella of our NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and the generosity of our patient population.”

The research findings were published in the European Respiratory Journal.

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

NHE Nov/Dec 2023

AI is key in helping dementia patients live independently for longer.

The Nov/Dec 2023 edition of NHE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key health sector topics, from digital transformation to navigating post-pandemic challenges.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Events

NHE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of healthcare services. Over 365 days you'll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with the knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

National Health Executive Podcast

Ep 39.
What makes a good NHS manager? with Anthony Painter, Director of Policy at Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

In episode 39 of the National Health Executive podcast, we were joined by Anthony Painter, who is the director of policy at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), to discuss all things management within the UK health sector and NHS.

During the podcast, Anthony shared some of the recent research CMI conducted in partnership with the Social Market Foundation, which centred around the state of management and leadership within the NHS.

More articles...

View all