We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Abbott Diagnostics- Hematology Division

Download Mobile App

Testing for Specific Genetic Biomarkers Could Diagnose SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Predict COVID-19 Severity

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Oct 2021
Print article

Scientists have discovered specific genetic biomarkers that not only show who is infected with COVID-19, but also offer insights into how severe the disease might be, thus filling a major diagnostic gap.

The new study by scientists at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (Aurora, CO, USA) suggests that specific signals from a process called DNA methylation varies between those infected and those not infected with SARS-CoV-2. And they can indicate the severity of the disease even in the early stages. DNA methylation, critical in how cells function, is an epigenetic signaling tool that cells use to turn genes off. Any mistakes in the process can trigger a variety of disease. The researchers believe that paying attention to these signals could help fill a needed gap in the current world of COVID testing.

Most COVID-19 antigen or rapid tests are dependent on viral strains and can carry high false negative rates. They do not predict if the virus is viable and replicating, nor do they predict clinical outcomes. A pre-symptomatic patient may test negative for the SARS-CoV-2 virus while patients who have recovered may still test positive despite no longer being infectious. The researchers did not know of any test that can predict the clinical course of COVID-19.

With that in mind, they analyzed the epigenome in blood samples from people with and without COVID-19. They did this by customizing a tool from Illumina called the Infinium Methylation EPIC array to enhance immune response detection. Researchers then profiled peripheral blood samples from 164 COVID-19 patients and 296 control patients. The peripheral blood DNA samples were collected from patients seen at UC Health and tested for SARS-CoV-2 epigenetic signatures starting March 1, 2020. The researchers discovered specific genetic markers of SARS-CoV-2 infection along with indications of how severe the disease might be. According to the researchers, the findings could ultimately lead to a new and more accurate way to test for COVID-19.

“I think this study is a tremendous proof-of-concept in the realm of COVID-19 testing, one that can be applied to other diseases,” said the study’s lead author, Kathleen Barnes, PhD, professor at the CU School of Medicine. “It’s a major move forward in the world of precision medicine.”

“We are exploring how this platform could add value to the COVID diagnostic world,” she said. “We think it adds value to knowing what patients develop more serious disease. This could tell you if you could ride out the infection or if it is likely to get worse.”

Related Links:
University of Colorado School of Medicine 

Gold Supplier
SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test
3-Part Hematology Analyzer
HL 3125 plus
Digital Cytology Platform
Genius Digital Diagnostics
SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Immunofluorescence System
Watmind SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Immunofluorescence System

Print article


Clinical Chem.

view channel
Image: Illustration is of the Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) Lipid test with clear demarcation of the different lipoprotein classes and subclasses. (Photo courtesy of VAP Diagnostics Laboratory)

Lipoprotein(a) Concentrations Correlate With LDL-C in Diabetic Children

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a significant cause of mortality in those with diabetes. Increased apolipoprotein B (apoB) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) have been shown in pediatric patients... Read more

Molecular Diagnostics

view channel
Image: The TruSight RNA Fusion Panel kit provides comprehensive gene fusion detection in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) and other cancer samples (Photo courtesy of Illumina)

Targeted RNA-Sequencing Panel Detects Gene Fusions in Solid Tumors

Increasingly, rearrangements resulting in gene fusions have been revealed in multiple tumor types across diverse organ systems. These gene fusions can drive tumorigenesis by altering gene expression and activity.... Read more


view channel
Image: Blood smear from a patient with low grade follicular lymphoma in leukemic phase: note cleaved nuclei (coffee bean cells) and scant cytoplasm (Photo courtesy of Kyle Bradley, MD)

Classification of Mature B-Cell Neoplasms Employing Standardized Flow Cytometry

The classification of lymphoid neoplasms integrates clinical, pathological, immunophenotypic, genetic, and molecular data in order to distinguish between mature B-cell lymphoma entities.... Read more


view channel
Image: Procartaplex Immunoassays Kits are based on the principles of a sandwich ELISA, using two highly specific antibodies binding to different epitopes of one protein to quantitate all protein targets simultaneously (Photo courtesy of Thermo Fisher Scientific)

Assay Developed for Patient-Specific Monitoring and Treatment for Ovarian Cancer

Tumors can influence peripheral immune macroenvironment, thereby creating opportunities for non-invasive serum/plasma immunobiomarkers for immunostratification and immunotherapy designing.... Read more


view channel

Roche Introduces AI-Based Digital Pathology RUO Algorithms for Evaluation of Breast Cancer Markers

Roche (Basel, Switzerland) has announced the research use only (RUO) launch of three new automated digital pathology algorithms, uPath Ki-67 (30-9), uPath ER (SP1) and uPath PR (1E2) image analysis for... Read more


view channel
Image: PKeye Workflow Monitor System (Photo courtesy of PerkinElmer, Inc.)

PerkinElmer’s New Cloud-Based Platform Enables Laboratory Personnel to Remotely Manage Its Instruments in Real-Time

PerkinElmer, Inc. (Waltham, MA; USA) has launched its PKeye Workflow Monitor, a cloud-based platform enabling laboratory personnel to remotely manage and monitor their PerkinElmer instruments and workflows... Read more


view channel

Global Point-of-Care Coagulation Testing Market to Be Driven by Growing Geriatric Population

The global point-of-care (POC) coagulation testing market is set to achieve significant growth on the back of the growing geriatric population and increasing technological innovations in POC testing, although... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2021 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.