Proteomics Uncovers Immunosuppression in COVID-19 Patients with Long Disease Course
Posted 16 Jun 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.14.20131078
Posted 16 Jun 2020
Little is known regarding why a subset of COVID-19 patients exhibited prolonged positivity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we present a longitudinal sera proteomic resource for 37 COVID-19 patients over nine weeks, in which 2700 proteins were quantified with high quality. Remarkably, we found that during the first three weeks since disease onset, while clinical symptoms and outcome were indistinguishable, patients with prolonged disease course displayed characteristic immunological responses including enhanced Natural Killer (NK) cell-mediated innate immunity and regulatory T cell-mediated immunosuppression. We further showed that it is possible to predict the length of disease course using machine learning based on blood protein levels during the first three weeks. Validation in an independent cohort achieved an accuracy of 82%. In summary, this study presents a rich serum proteomic resource to understand host responses in COVID-19 patients and identifies characteristic Treg-mediated immunosuppression in LC patients, nominating new therapeutic target and diagnosis strategy.
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