MEDICAL BIOCHEMIST IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC: EMERGING DIAGNOSTIC MODALITY

Biochemistry has emerged as a crucial diagnostic player to unravel the COVID 19 pandemic diagnosis. 

1. LABORATORY DIAGNOSIS:

Apart from RT-PCR and ELISA based tests, studies suggest main biochemical laboratory abnormalities observed in patients with unfavorable COVID -19 progression. These parameters include:

  • D- Dimer
  • Procalcitonin
  • Ferritin
  • IL-6
  • Cardiac troponin

2. DRUG DESIGN:

The pharmaceutical industry is also an important destination for biochemists because it is fast emerging as a hub for R& D in the field of genetically engineered drugs.

 In the development of new medicine structural biochemistry is what has become really vital. The tools of biochemistry such as X-Ray Crystallography is the ones with which medicine is studied. Modern methods of biochemistry are usually used to understand the enzyme structure by understanding the folding and bending of the structure.

3. VACCINE DEVELOPMENT:

It can facilitate the rapid development of robust and novel vaccines. DNA vaccines are being used in the treatment of HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. 

BIOINFORMATICS approach via reverse vaccinology, immunoinformatics, and structural vaccinology provide new insight into the vaccine development.

4. USE OF SYNTHETIC PEPTIDES IN SEROLOGICAL ASSAYS

Synthetic peptide technology permits mass production of peptides for specific proteins, thereby adding new information regarding the host immune response during natural infection, age-dependent immunity in relation to intensity or duration of exposure to a given pathogen. 

5. PLASMA THERAPY 

Due to the many potentials of this blooming new field ahead, there is a need to highlight the main concepts distilled from plasma research in chemistry and biology that serve as a mechanistic link between therapy (what is the medical benefit) and plasma physics (how and which plasma-derived ROS are produced).

Treatment with cold physical plasma-derived ROS provides new therapeutic avenues in the therapy of a number of diseases.

NEW DIAGNOSTIC HORIZONS: 

  • RUCDR infinite biologics are now FDA approved saliva-based SARS CoV-2 assay.
  • COVID 19 test from DIACARTA for its Quanti virus PCR diagnostic has been approved by FDA which provides results in 2 hours.
  • COVID 19 total antibody test from Ortho Clinical Diagnostics receives EUA. 

As a medical biochemist, our role increases manifold were in vitro diagnostics can provide essential contributions in the thrust areas as: 

  1. Rapid and reliable etiological diagnosis of the ongoing crisis. 
  2. Patient monitoring
  3. Epidemiological surveillance.