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ACE2 and cardiac events after severe COVID-19 infection

Professor Louise Burrell, Institution: The University of Melbourne

2021 Vanguard Grant  

Years funded: 2022-2023  

COVID-19 infection is due to SARS-CoV-2 which uses angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for cell entry. Professor  Louise Burrell's team reported that plasma ACE2 is increased in people managed in the community with COVID-19 infection. Although the cause and consequences of elevated plasma ACE2 in the setting of COVID-19 are unknown, increased plasma ACE2 activity is an independent risk factor for major adverse cardiac events, including death in patients with underlying heart disease.

In this project, Professor Louise Burrell's team will focus on patients with severe COVID-19 illness who were admitted to hospital for management. The team hypothesise that plasma ACE2 levels will be significantly increased in severe COVID-19 and will predict major adverse cardiac events, and all-cause mortality.  The team will also recruit in-patients with severe non-COVID related respiratory illness to determine if changes in plasma ACE2 are specific to SARS CoV-2 infection.

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