Characterisation of the blood RNA host response underpinning severity in COVID-19 patients

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Title: Characterisation of the blood RNA host response underpinning severity in COVID-19 patients
Authors: Jackson, H
Calle, IR
Broderick, C
Habgood-Coote, D
D’Souza, G
Nichols, S
Gómez-Rial, J
Rivero-Velasco, C
Rodríguez-Núñez, N
Barbeito-Castiñeiras, G
Pérez-Freixo, H
Acosta, MB-D
Cunnington, AJ
Herberg, JA
Wright, VJ
Gómez-Carballa, A
Salas, A
Levin, M
Martinon-Torres, F
Kaforou, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 has highly variable clinical manifestations, ranging from asymptomatic infection through to life-threatening disease. Host whole blood transcriptomics can offer unique insights into the biological processes underpinning infection and disease, as well as severity. We performed whole blood RNA Sequencing of individuals with varying degrees of COVID-19 severity. We used differential expression analysis and pathway enrichment analysis to explore how the blood transcriptome differs between individuals with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19, performing pairwise comparisons between groups. Increasing COVID-19 severity was characterised by an abundance of inflammatory immune response genes and pathways, including many related to neutrophils and macrophages, in addition to an upregulation of immunoglobulin genes. Our insights into COVID-19 severity reveal the role of immune dysregulation in the progression to severe disease and highlight the need for further research exploring the interplay between SARS-CoV-2 and the inflammatory immune response.
Issue Date: 17-Jul-2022
Date of Acceptance: 24-Jun-2022
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-15547-2
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 12
Copyright Statement: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Sponsor/Funder: Wellcome Trust
Wellcome Trust
Community Jameel Imperial COVID excellence fund
Funder's Grant Number: 215214/Z/19/Z
Grant agreement No. 668303
Keywords: COVID-19
PERFORM consortium and GEN-COVID study group
PERFORM consortium
GEN-COVID ( study group
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 12216
Appears in Collections:Department of Infectious Diseases
Faculty of Medicine
Imperial College London COVID-19

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons