Aim: To investigate the serum circulating DPP4 activity in patients with COVID-19 disease. Materials & methods: Serum samples from 102 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 43 post-COVID-19 plasma donors and 39 SARS-CoV-2 naive controls and their medical data were used. Circulating DPP4 activities according to different COVID-19 disease peak severity (WHO) groups at sampling and at peak were assessed. Results: A significant decrease (p < 0.0001) in serum DPP4 activity was found in study groups of higher disease severity. When the circulating DPP4 activity was assessed as a prognostic marker, the logistic regression (p = 0.0023) indicated that the enzyme activity is a predictor of mortality (median 9.5 days before death) with receiver operating characteristic area under the curves of 73.33% (p[area = 0.5] < 0.0001) as single predictor and 83.45% (p[area = 0.5] < 0.0001) in combination with age among hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Conclusion: Decreased circulating DPP4 activity is associated with severe COVID-19 disease and is a strong prognostic biomarker of mortality.
Keywords: COVID-19; DPP4; SARS-CoV-2; T2DM; circulating DPP4 activity; disease severity; mortality; prognostic biomarker.