Integrated plasma proteomic and single-cell immune signaling network signatures demarcate mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19

bioRxiv. 2021 Feb 10;2021.02.09.430269. doi: 10.1101/2021.02.09.430269. Preprint


The biological determinants of the wide spectrum of COVID-19 clinical manifestations are not fully understood. Here, over 1400 plasma proteins and 2600 single-cell immune features comprising cell phenotype, basal signaling activity, and signaling responses to inflammatory ligands were assessed in peripheral blood from patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19, at the time of diagnosis. Using an integrated computational approach to analyze the combined plasma and single-cell proteomic data, we identified and independently validated a multivariate model classifying COVID-19 severity (multi-class AUCtraining = 0.799, p-value = 4.2e-6; multi-class AUCvalidation = 0.773, p-value = 7.7e-6). Features of this high-dimensional model recapitulated recent COVID-19 related observations of immune perturbations, and revealed novel biological signatures of severity, including the mobilization of elements of the renin-angiotensin system and primary hemostasis, as well as dysregulation of JAK/STAT, MAPK/mTOR, and NF-κB immune signaling networks. These results provide a set of early determinants of COVID-19 severity that may point to therapeutic targets for the prevention of COVID-19 progression.

Publication types

  • Preprint