Nicola Ferri

INNOCENT genomIc aNd proteomic aNalysis Of COVID-19 patiENTs

Required budget: 170.000 euro

Patients infected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) show wide clinical symptoms, encompassing from asymptomatic infection, mild upper respiratory tract illness, and severe viral pneumonia with respiratory failure and even death. The severity of the clinical symptoms is certainly dependent from the pathogenicity of the virus itself, and the cytokine storm that it produces but many other clinical and anthropometric factors determine the medical prognosis. Indeed, higher fatality rate depends on sex, age, cardiovascular, diabetic, and chronic respiratory comorbidities, and from high levels of measurable biochemical parameters, such as D-dimer, fibrin degradation product, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I, and prothrombin time. Thus, the determination of genetic predisposition to inflammation, immune and coagulation responses may help to estimate patient prognosis. Thus, the main aim of the present project is to retrospectively determine the genetic determinants associated to uncontrolled inflammatory, immune and thrombotic response to COVID-19 infection as main determinants of the severity of the disease. This genetic analysis will be then corroborated with a proteomic determination of plasma levels of biomolecules involved in the same physiological response. The results of these analysis will improve our understanding of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and thus the determination of: 1) biomolecules associated to poor prognosis; 2) new “druggable” circulating factors with currently available therapies; 3) polygenic risk score reflecting a patients inherited susceptibility to develop sever symptoms.