The University of Queensland in Australia has announced that a new study has revealed how COVID-19 affects the heart and how it differs from that of the flu virus, providing ideas for treating heart damage caused by COVID-19 infection.
The research, led by the University of Queensland, has been published in the monthly journal Immunology. One of the study’s authors, Dr Kulasingha from the University of Queensland, said: “COVID-19 causes more severe and long-term cardiovascular disease than the 2009 influenza pandemic, but at the molecular level, what causes this phenomenon is unclear.”
According to reports, the new study used heart tissue samples collected from the remains of 7 new crown patients, 2 influenza patients and 6 control group patients for analysis.
The results showed that the researchers found stronger inflammation in heart samples from flu patients, while tissue changes related to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage and repair were found in heart samples from patients with Covid-19. The researchers say that COVID-19 is likely to have a direct effect on the DNA of the heart, not just by triggering a chain reaction of inflammation.
DNA damage and repair mechanisms contribute to genomic instability and are associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases, Kurasimha said.
University of Queensland professor John Fraser said the study, which showed that COVID-19 and influenza viruses had different effects on heart tissue, provided more evidence that COVID-19 was not “flu-like”. In the future, the team hopes to conduct in-depth investigations through larger cohort studies.