Integrated plasma proteomic and single-cell immune signaling network signatures demarcate mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19

Feyaerts D, Hédou J, Gillard J, Chen H, Tsai ES, Peterson LS, Ando K, Manohar M, Do E, Dhondalay GKR, Fitzpatrick J, Artandi M, Chang I, Snow TT, Chinthrajah RS, Warren CM, Wittman R, Meyerowitz JG, Ganio EA, Stelzer IA, Han X, Verdonk F, Gaudillière DK, Mukherjee N, Tsai AS, Rumer KK, Jacobsen DR, Bjornson-Hooper ZB, Jiang S, Saavedra SF, Valdés Ferrer SI, Kelly JD, Furman D, Aghaeepour N, Angst MS, Boyd SD, Pinsky BA, Nolan GP, Nadeau KC, Gaudillière B, McIlwain DR.


The biological determinants underlying the range of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) clinical manifestations are not fully understood. Here, over 1,400 plasma proteins and 2,600 single-cell immune features comprising cell phenotype, endogenous signaling activity, and signaling responses to inflammatory ligands are cross-sectionally assessed in peripheral blood from 97 patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 and 40 uninfected patients. Using an integrated computational approach to analyze the combined plasma and single-cell proteomic data, we identify and independently validate a multi-variate model classifying COVID-19 severity (multi-class area under the curve [AUC]training = 0.799, p = 4.2e-6; multi-class AUCvalidation = 0.773, p = 7.7e-6). Examination of informative model features reveals biological signatures of COVID-19 severity, including the dysregulation of JAK/STAT, MAPK/mTOR, and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) immune signaling networks in addition to recapitulating known hallmarks of COVID-19. These results provide a set of early determinants of COVID-19 severity that may point to therapeutic targets for prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 progression.