COVID-19 in people with HIV - a longitudinal proteomics study


COVID-19 may be more severe in people with HIV (PWH), but the mechanisms contributing to this are poorly understood. A team from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston used three Olink® Target 96 panels for targeted protein biomarker discovery to undertake a longitudinal proteomics study in PWH undergoing anti-retroviral therapy. Leveraging data from the REPRIEVE clinical trial cohort, they compared protein profiles between matched cases and controls who did or did not develop COVID-19 during the course of the study. Among the COVID cases, 40% were characterized as mild and 60% moderate to severe, and median time from SARS-CoV-2 infection to follow-up sampling was 4 months.


The longitudinal analysis revealed some interesting temporal patterns of protein changes linked to disease severity. In patients with moderate/severe COVID, NOS3 was significantly increased over time, while levels of ANG, CASP-8, CD5, GZMH, GZMB, ITGB2 & KLRD1 decreased. Pathway analysis was used to interpret these data as relevant adaptive and maladaptive changes in inflammatory, immune, and fibrotic pathways underlying moderate-to-severe COVID-19 in PWH.

Also of potential importance, pre-infection levels of the three granzyme proteins, GZMA, GZMB & GZMH were shown to be an independent risk factor for the development of subsequent moderate-to-severe COVID-19 among these patients. This observation is of significant interest since granzymes are serine proteases produced by cytotoxic T-cells and NK cells that induce apoptosis in virus-infected cells.



Kolossváry M, deFilippi C, McCallum S, et al. Identification of pre-infection markers and differential plasma protein expression following SARS-CoV-2 infection in people living with HIV. (2023) EBioMedicine, DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2023.104538

These findings may help to guide future directions with respect to: 1) improving clinical prediction of which PWH are at greatest risk of developing severe COVID-19 so as to most effectively deploy preventive and therapeutic strategies; 2) understanding which persistent changes in immune-regulatory proteins post-COVID are maladaptive

Kolossváry et al. (2023)

Peer-reviewed publications citing the use of Olink panels

Olink’s Proximity Extension Assay (PEA) technology has been used for protein biomarker discovery and analysis across a very broad range of disease areas and applications, providing actionable insights into disease biology and helping to drive future development of new and better therapeutics. There are now well over 1200 publications citing the use of our assays and the list is growing rapidly. Please visit our library of publications to see some of the extraordinary work produced by Olink customers.