Platelets appear to be indispensable in the protection of our respiratory tract against pathogens, such as the coronavirus. Until now, physicians thought they only played a role in blood coagulation and the development of thrombosis. Researchers from Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht and Erasmus MC have now discovered that they also play a role in our immune system.
“In patients with the flu, the platelets absorb virus particles from the lungs, after which they return to the bloodstream,” says lead researcher Erhard van der Vries. This insight is also important for research into coagulation and acute cardiovascular problems in corona patients, such as strokes and blood clots in the pulmonary vessels.
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