Longitudinal peripheral blood transcriptional analysis of COVID-19 patients captures disease progression and reveals potential biomarkers
Posted 08 May 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.05.20091355
Posted 08 May 2020
COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is an acute self-resolving disease in most of the patients, but some patients can develop a severe illness or even death. To characterize the host responses and identify potential biomarkers during disease progression, we performed a longitudinal transcriptome analysis for peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected from 4 COVID-19 patients at 4 different time points from symptom onset to recovery. We found that PBMCs at different COVID-19 disease stages exhibited unique transcriptome characteristics. SARS-CoV-2 infection dysregulated innate immunity especially type I interferon response as well as the disturbed release of inflammatory cytokines and lipid mediators, and an aberrant increase of low-density neutrophils may cause tissue damage. Activation of cell death, exhaustion and migratory pathways may lead to the reduction of lymphocytes and dysfunction of adaptive immunity. COVID-19 induced hypoxia may exacerbate disorders in blood coagulation. Based on our analysis, we proposed a set of potential biomarkers for monitoring disease progression and predicting the risk of severity.
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