How does the immune system react to an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19? The groups of internist-infectiologist Tom van der Poll and physician-virologist Menno de Jong will investigate this in blood as well as in the respiratory tract. In this way, they hope to be able to contribute to a better treatment of covid.
In order to better understand how an infection with the coronavirus develops, Van der Poll's group will look into the blood of seriously ill patients to see what happens to the blood cell. De Jong's group studies the defence in the respiratory tract where the infection takes place, both in people with mild symptoms and in those who are seriously ill.
The research has to show to what extent (seriously ill) covid-19 patients have an excessive inflammatory reaction and whether such a reaction is related to a bad outcome, such as death. The results of the study should answer the question of whether a treatment that tackles the inflammatory response could work, and what type of therapy that would be. The findings may also help in the selection of covid-19 patients who would benefit most from such therapy. In addition, the aim is to develop 'biomarkers' that indicate which patients should and should not be treated with therapies that influence the immune response. In the video below, Tom van der Poll and Menno de Jong tell more about their research, which is co-financed by theCorona Research Fonds Amsterdam UMC.