Rare COVID-19 vaccine-related blood clot mechanism uncovered

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Researchers identify a molecular interaction between the COVID-19 vaccine adenovirus vector and platelet factors which may be the cause of rare blood clots linked to the vaccine. 

An international team of scientists from Cardiff University (UK) and Arizona State University (AZ, USA), alongside AstraZeneca (Cambridge, UK), have uncovered part of the mechanism involved in extremely rare blood clots linked to the administration of adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines. The research, led by first author Alexander Baker (both Arizona State and Cardiff University), used CryoEM technology to study the structure of the AstraZeneca vaccine adenovirus vector. The findings indicate that the adenovirus can bind to platelet factor 4 (PF4), involved in inflammation and wound repair, and may be the cause of the rare blood clots. 

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