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Metabolite profiling in blood plasma and analyzing single-cell multiomics can elucidate changes in the immune system in COVID-19 patients. In this study, we report on these changes in the immune response of 198 individuals based on blood draws during the first week of clinical diagnosis. We document the emergence of rare, but metabolically dominant T cell subpopulations, which revealed that disease severity is correlated with metabolically distinctive subgroups.

Our analysis shows significant interaction between plasma metabolites and cell-type-specific metabolic reprogramming networks, which is associated with disease severity—an important factor in predicting survival among patients. 

Results roundup:

  • Single-cell profiling technologies look at individual cells instead of cell populations, providing valuable insights into subpopulations that—while small—dominated metabolic trends
  • Metabolomic data can be used to stratify COVID-19 patients, supplying valuable data to physicians that could potentially inform treatment regimens
  • The observed disease classification could be fundamental characteristics of how the immune system responds to COVID-19 and thus could help guide the identification of therapeutic targets

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