COVID-19, a pandemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), continues to pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges due to its unpredictable clinical course. Prognostic biomarkers may improve care by enabling quick identification of patients who can be safely discharged home versus those who may need careful respiratory monitoring and support. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have risen to prominence as biomarkers for many disease states and as tools to assist in medical decisions. In the present study, we aimed to examine circulating miRNAs in hospitalized COVID-19 patients and to explore their potential as biomarkers for disease severity. We studied, by quantitative PCR, the expressions of miR-21, miR-146a, miR-146b, miR-155, and miR-499 in peripheral blood. We found that mild COVID-19 patients had 2.5-fold less circulating miR-155 than healthy people, and patients with a severe COVID-19 disease had 5-fold less circulating miR-155 than healthy people. In addition, we found that miR-155 is a good predictor of COVID-19 mortality. We suggest that examining miR-155 levels in patients’ blood, upon admission to hospital, will ameliorate the care given to COVID-19 patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research received no external funding and was funded with institutional departmental funds.
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