Integrated proteomic and immune cell signaling signatures of COVID-19 severity


Despite a huge research effort in recent years, the biological determinants underlying COVID-19 severity are not fully understood. A study from Stanford University used plasma proteomics measured by Olink together with single-cell mass cytometry: measuring over 1,400 plasma proteins and 2,600 single-cell immune features comprising cell phenotype, endogenous signaling activity, and signaling responses to inflammatory ligands in 97 patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19, as well as 40 uninfected patients.


Using an integrated computational approach to analyze the combined plasma and single-cell proteomic data, they identified and independently validated a multi-variate model that classified COVID-19 severity with high accuracy (AUC=0.799 in the training dataset and AUC=0.773 in the validation dataset). Examination of connections between components of the model showed that 29% of those occurred between plasma proteome and single-cell proteomic features, with many of the proteins enriched for associations with cytokine signaling. Pathway analysis further revealed biological signatures of COVID-19 severity, including the dysregulation of JAK/STAT, MAPK/mTOR, and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) immune signaling networks. These early determinants of COVID-19 severity may point to novel therapeutic targets for prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 progression.



Feyaerts D, Hédou J, Gillard J, et al. Integrated plasma proteomic and single-cell immune signaling network signatures demarcate mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19. (2022) Cell Reports Medicine, DOI: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2022.100680

This analysis highlighted the interconnected nature of single-cell and plasma proteomic features of the severity model and underscored the need for an integrated approach to characterize the inflammatory state of patients with varying COVID-19 severity

Feyaerts et al. (2022)

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 1000 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.

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