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Serum protein profiling reveals a landscape of inflammation and immune signaling in early-stage COVID-19 infection

By Xin Hou, Xiaomei Zhang, Xian Wu, Minya Lu, Dan Wang, Meng Xu, Hongye Wang, Jiayu Dai, Hu Duan, Yingchun Xu, Xiaobo Yu, Yongzhe Li

Posted 13 May 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.08.20095836

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious infection and threating the human lives in the world. The elevation of cytokines in blood is crucial to induce cytokine storm and immunosuppression in the transition of severity in COVID-19 patients. However, the comprehensive changes of serum proteins in COVID-19 patients throughout the SARS-CoV-2 infection is unknown. In this work, we developed a high-density antibody microarray and performed an in-depth proteomics analysis of serum samples collected from early COVID-19 (n=15) and influenza (n=13) patients. We identified a large set of differentially expressed proteins (n=125) that participate in a landscape of inflammation and immune signaling related to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, the significant correlations of neutrophil and lymphocyte with the CCL2 and CXCL10 mediated cytokine signaling pathways was identified. These information are valuable for the understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis, identification of biomarkers and development of the optimal anti-inflammation therapy.

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