Patients with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) have been found to have increased mortality and morbidity for COVID-19 and are at higher risk for severe disease once infected with COVID-19. Clearly, there exists a relationship between T2D and COVID-19 that requires more attention. In order to understand the mechanisms by which T2D contributes to more severe COVID-19 disease, attention was turned to extracellular vesicles (EVs). It was speculated that viral RNA components of the COVID-19 virus may have originated from circulating EVs that came from infected cells and use a Trojan Exosome method to infect host cells. It is necessary to characterize the EVs and viral RNA components of COVID-19 patients to understand the infection mechanisms. EV purification, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrophotometry, nanoparticle tracking analysis, Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), and Bioanalyzer analysis were performed for this using patient samples from Advent Health Orlando. Results found that qPCR was unable to detect COVID-19 viral RNA in the EVs of these patients, most likely a result of poor sensitivity. This study contributes towards defining the proteomic landscape of circulating EVs in people with COVID-19 and T2D and identifying biological mechanisms driving the interaction between the two diseases. Future directions include profiling the small noncoding RNAs found in COVID-19 patients and utilizing different methods to analyze isolated RNA to identify COVID-19 viral materials in EVs.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Borgon, Robert


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date