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Exuberant elevation of IP-10, MCP-3 and IL-1ra during SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with disease severity and fatal outcome

By Yang Yang, Chenguang Shen, Jinxiu Li, Jing Yuan, Minghui Yang, Fuxiang Wang, Guobao Li, Yanjie Li, Li Xing, Ling Peng, Jinli Wei, Mengli Cao, Haixia Zheng, Weibo Wu, Rongrong Zou, Delin Li, Zhixiang Xu, Haiyan Wang, Mingxia Zhang, Zheng Zhang, Lei Liu, Yingxia Liu

Posted 06 Mar 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.02.20029975

The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan, December 2019, and continuously poses a serious threat to public health. Our previous study has shown that cytokine storm occurred during SARS-CoV-2 infection, while the detailed role of cytokines in the disease severity and progression remained unclear due to the limited case number. In this study, we examined 48 cytokines in the plasma samples from 53 COVID-19 cases, among whom 34 were severe cases, and the others moderate. Results showed that 14 cytokines were significantly elevated upon admission in COVID-19 cases. Moreover, IP-10, MCP-3, and IL-1ra were significantly higher in severe cases, and highly associated with the PaO2/FaO2 and Murray score. Furthermore, the three cytokines were independent predictors for the progression of COVID-19, and the combination of IP-10, MCP-3 and IL-1ra showed the biggest area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristics (ROC) calculations. Serial detection of IP-10, MCP-3 and IL-1ra in 14 severe cases showed that the continuous high levels of these cytokines were associated with disease deterioration and fatal outcome. In conclusion, we report biomarkers that closely associated with disease severity and outcome of COVID-19. These findings add to our understanding of the immunopathologic mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection, providing novel therapeutic targets and strategy.

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