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The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge. Highly variable in its presentation, spread and clinical outcome, novel point-of-care diagnostic classifiers are urgently required. Here, we describe a set of COVID-19 clinical classifiers discovered using a newly designed low-cost high-throughput mass spectrometry-based platform. Introducing a new sample preparation pipeline coupled with short-gradient high-flow liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, our methodology facilitates clinical implementation and increases sample throughput and quantification precision. Providing a rapid assessment of serum or plasma samples at scale, we report 27 biomarkers that distinguish mild and severe forms of COVID-19, of which some may have potential as therapeutic targets. These proteins highlight the role of complement factors, the coagulation system, inflammation modulators as well as pro-inflammatory signalling upstream and downstream of Interleukin 6. Application of novel methodologies hence transforms proteomics from a research tool into a rapid-response, clinically actionable technology adaptable to infectious outbreaks.

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