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In medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences

There is an urgent need to identify which COVID-19 patients will develop life-threatening illness so that scarce medical resources can be optimally allocated and rapid treatment can be administered early in the disease course, when clinical management is most effective. To aid in the prognostic classification of disease severity, we performed untargeted metabolomics profiling of 341 patients with plasma samples collected at six longitudinal time points. Using the temporal metabolic profiles and machine learning, we then built a predictive model of disease severity. We determined that the levels of 25 metabolites measured at the time of hospital admission successfully predict future disease severity. Through analysis of longitudinal samples, we confirmed that these prognostic markers are directly related to disease progression and that their levels are restored to baseline upon disease recovery. Finally, we validated that these metabolites are also altered in a hamster model of COVID-19. Our results indicate that metabolic changes associated with COVID-19 severity can be effectively used to stratify patients and inform resource allocation during the pandemic.

Sindelar Miriam, Stancliffe Ethan, Schwaiger-Haber Michaela, Anbukumar Dhanalakshmi S, Albrecht Randy A, Liu Wen-Chun, Adkins-Travis Kayla, Garcia-Sastre Adolfo, Shriver Leah P, Patti Gary J