Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Computers in biology and medicine

OBJECTIVE : To implement and evaluate machine learning (ML) algorithms for the prediction of COVID-19 diagnosis, severity, and fatality and to assess biomarkers potentially associated with these outcomes.

MATERIAL AND METHODS : Serum (n = 96) and plasma (n = 96) samples from patients with COVID-19 (acute, severe and fatal illness) from two independent hospitals in China were analyzed by LC-MS. Samples from healthy volunteers and from patients with pneumonia caused by other viruses (i.e. negative RT-PCR for COVID-19) were used as controls. Seven different ML-based models were built: PLS-DA, ANNDA, XGBoostDA, SIMCA, SVM, LREG and KNN.

RESULTS : The PLS-DA model presented the best performance for both datasets, with accuracy rates to predict the diagnosis, severity and fatality of COVID-19 of 93%, 94% and 97%, respectively. Low levels of the metabolites ribothymidine, 4-hydroxyphenylacetoylcarnitine and uridine were associated with COVID-19 positivity, whereas high levels of N-acetyl-glucosamine-1-phosphate, cysteinylglycine, methyl isobutyrate, l-ornithine and 5,6-dihydro-5-methyluracil were significantly related to greater severity and fatality from COVID-19.

CONCLUSION : The PLS-DA model can help to predict SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, severity and fatality in daily practice. Some biomarkers typically increased in COVID-19 patients' serum or plasma (i.e. ribothymidine, N-acetyl-glucosamine-1-phosphate, l-ornithine, 5,6-dihydro-5-methyluracil) should be further evaluated as prognostic indicators of the disease.

de Fátima Cobre Alexandre, Surek Monica, Stremel Dile Pontarolo, Fachi Mariana Millan, Lobo Borba Helena Hiemisch, Tonin Fernanda Stumpf, Pontarolo Roberto


Biomarker, COVID 19, Diagnosis, Fatality, Machine learning, Severity