Journal article

Altered microRNA expression in COVID-19 patients enables identification of SARS-CoV-2 infection

Ryan J Farr, Christina L Rootes, Louise C Rowntree, Thi HO Nguyen, Luca Hensen, Lukasz Kedzierski, Allen C Cheng, Katherine Kedzierska, Gough G Au, Glenn A Marsh, Seshadri S Vasan, Chwan Hong Foo, Christopher Cowled, Cameron R Stewart



The host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection provide insights into both viral pathogenesis and patient management. The host-encoded microRNA (miRNA) response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, remains poorly defined. Here we profiled circulating miRNAs from ten COVID-19 patients sampled longitudinally and ten age and gender matched healthy donors. We observed 55 miRNAs that were altered in COVID-19 patients during early-stage disease, with the inflammatory miR-31-5p the most strongly upregulated. Supervised machine learning analysis revealed that a three-miRNA signature (miR-423-5p, miR-23a-3p and miR-195-5p) independently classified COVID-19 cases with an accuracy of 99.9%. In a ferret COVID-19..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ( (C.R.S., grant number N/A). We acknowledge funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) ( (S.S.V., grant number N/A) for supporting ferret COVID-19 studies. S.S.V. is grateful for support from Australian Department of Finance (grant number N/A) and CSIRO Future Science Platforms (grant number N/A). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.