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Authors:Patel et al 

Journal/ Pre-Print:medRxiv 


Research Highlights 

  1. Application of 4 Olink panels to identify blood protein biomarkers of infection in controls vs mild vs severe vs critical COVID-19 cases 

  1. More than 75% of the 368 proteins measured in individuals were significantly dysregulated in COVID-19 

  1. Six proteins (IL6, CKAP4, Gal-9, IL-1ra, LILRB4 and PD-L1) were identified to be associated with disease severity. 


The authors analysed the host blood proteome of healthy controls vs patients with mild vs severe vs critical COVID-19. For this, they used four different commercial Olink panels. They demonstrate significant dysregulation of proteins tested, and further analysis suggested that six proteins perform best at differentiating between different subgroups.  

Impact for SARS-CoV2/COVID19 research efforts  

Understand the immune response to SARS-CoV2/COVID19  

Clinical symptoms and pathogenesis of SARS-Cov2/COVID19 

Study Type  

  • Clinical Cohort study (e.g. drug trials) 

Strengths and limitations of the paper 

Novelty: Novel identification of potential protein biomarkers of disease severity in COVID-19 

Standing in the field: Some of the protein biomarkers (e.g. IL6) have previously been identified  

Appropriate statistics: Generally, although no sample size calculation or missing value imputation or correction for multiple testing 

Viral model used:N/A 

Translatability:Yes, this could be used to triage patients that need hospital admission or closer monitoring such as intensive care 

Main limitations: Targeted proteomics. Stats as mentioned. Relatively small sample per group to make conclusions about host response biomarkers. No age/ sex matching of the COVID-19 groups (although there was age matching of controls to COVID-19 cases).