Science

Plasmin could be the link between COVID-19 comorbidities and serious illness

Plasmin could be the link between COVID-19 comorbidities and serious illness

Why is the COVID-19 virus more dangerous in people with comorbidities? Literature analysis shows that comorbidities like hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular illness, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney dysfunction all feature elevated levels of the extracellular protease plasmin. Plasmin is able to nick proteins sequences called furin sites. For many viruses, this nicking increases viral infectivity, including SARS and MERS — the two virulent coronaviruses that are related to the COVID-19 virus.

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