A protein biomarker-based prognostic phenotype in COVID-19


A team from Osaka University performed a longitudinal blood proteomics study combined with clinical information, to define a new clinically useful molecular phenotype associated with prognosis in severely ill COVID-19 patients. This extensive study included two diverse cohorts in the discovery phase, combining data from a previous COVID-19 study from Massachusetts General Hospital with new data from a Japanese cohort, both using Olink® Explore 1536 to measure plasma proteomics. Key findings were then finally verified in a third independent cohort, using ELISAs to confirm the most important proteins identified.


This identified four key proteins (WFDC2, GDF15, CHI3L1, and KRT19) that were involved in critical pathogenesis in all three independent cohorts. Machine learning was then applied to show distinct associations with 3 different clinically relevant phenotypes that they had defined. Interestingly, the 4 main protein markers identified are not associated with immune responses, but cell adhesion functionality, offering new insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and potentially, new treatment possibilities.



Ebihara T, Matsubara T, Togami Y, et al. Combination of WFDC2, CHI3L1, and KRT19 in Plasma Defines a Clinically Useful Molecular Phenotype Associated with Prognosis in Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients. (2022) Journal of Clinical Immunology, DOI: 10.1007/s10875-022-01386-3

The use of these easily measured key proteins offered new insight into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and could be useful in a potential clinical application

Ebihara 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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