Genomic, Proteomic, and Phenotypic Biomarkers of COVID-19 Severity: Protocol for a Retrospective Observational Study.

English A, McDaid D, Lynch SM, McLaughlin J, Cooper E, Wingfield B, Kelly M, Bhavsar M, McGilligan V, Irwin RE, Bucholc M, Zhang S, Shukla P, Rai TS, Bjourson AJ, Murray E, Gibson DS, Walsh C

JMIR Res Protoc 13 (-) e50733 [2024-02-14; online 2024-02-14]

Health organizations and countries around the world have found it difficult to control the spread of COVID-19. To minimize the future impact on the UK National Health Service and improve patient care, there is a pressing need to identify individuals who are at a higher risk of being hospitalized because of severe COVID-19. Early targeted work was successful in identifying angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptors and type II transmembrane serine protease dependency as drivers of severe infection. Although a targeted approach highlights key pathways, a multiomics approach will provide a clearer and more comprehensive picture of severe COVID-19 etiology and progression. The COVID-19 Response Study aims to carry out an integrated multiomics analysis to identify biomarkers in blood and saliva that could contribute to host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 and the development of severe COVID-19. The COVID-19 Response Study aims to recruit 1000 people who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection in both community and hospital settings on the island of Ireland. This protocol describes the retrospective observational study component carried out in Northern Ireland (NI; Cohort A); the Republic of Ireland cohort will be described separately. For all NI participants (n=519), SARS-CoV-2 infection has been confirmed by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. A prospective Cohort B of 40 patients is also being followed up at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postinfection to assess longitudinal symptom frequency and immune response. Data will be sourced from whole blood, saliva samples, and clinical data from the electronic care records, the general health questionnaire, and a 12-item general health questionnaire mental health survey. Saliva and blood samples were processed to extract DNA and RNA before whole-genome sequencing, RNA sequencing, DNA methylation analysis, microbiome analysis, 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing, and proteomic analysis were performed on the plasma. Multiomics data will be combined with clinical data to produce sensitive and specific prognostic models for severity risk. An initial demographic and clinical profile of the NI Cohort A has been completed. A total of 249 hospitalized patients and 270 nonhospitalized patients were recruited, of whom 184 (64.3%) were female, and the mean age was 45.4 (SD 13) years. High levels of comorbidity were evident in the hospitalized cohort, with cardiovascular disease and metabolic and respiratory disorders being the most significant (P<.001), grouped according to the International Classification of Diseases 10 codes. This study will provide a comprehensive opportunity to study the mechanisms of COVID-19 severity in recontactable participants. DERR1-10.2196/50733.

Category: Biochemistry

Category: Genomics & transcriptomics

Category: Serology

Type: Journal article

PubMed 38354037

DOI 10.2196/50733

Crossref 10.2196/50733

pmc: PMC10868637
pii: v13i1e50733

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