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Time-series plasma cell-free DNA analysis reveals disease severity of COVID-19 patients

By Xinping Chen, Yu Lin, Tao Wu, Jinjin Xu, Zhichao Ma, Kun Sun, Hui Li, Yuxue Luo, Chen Zhang, Fang Chen, Jiao Wang, Tingyu Kuo, Xiaojuan Li, Chunyu Geng, Feng Lin, Chaojie Huang, Junjie Hu, Jianhua Yin, Ming Liu, Ye Tao, Jiye Zhang, Rijing Ou, Furong Xiao, Huanming Yang, Jian Wang, Xun Xu, Shengmiao Fu, Xin Jin, Hongyan Jiang, Ruoyan Chen

Posted 09 Jun 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.08.20124305

Symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) range from asymptomatic to severe pneumonia and death. Detection of individuals at high risk for critical condition is crucial for control of the disease. Herein, for the first time, we profiled and analyzed plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of mild and severe COVID-19 patients. We found that in comparison between mild and severe COVID-19 patients, Interleukin-37 signaling was one of the most relevant pathways; top significantly altered genes included POTEH, FAM27C, SPATA48, which were mostly expressed in prostate and testis; adrenal glands, small intestines and liver were tissues presenting most differentially expressed genes. Our data thus revealed potential tissue involvement, provided insights into mechanism on COVID-19 progression, and highlighted utility of cfDNA as a noninvasive biomarker for disease severity inspections.

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