MicroRNA biomarkers of COVID-19 severity

Project Details


The Cardiovascular Research Unit of Luxembourg Institute of Health proposes to apply its know-how on RNA biomarkers to identify circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) able to predict COVID-19 severity. This project is included in COVID-19 Task force WP02 and aims to fulfil the medical need of identifying patients at high risk of developing complications after infection by SARS-CoV-2 virus. The discovery of novel prognostic biomarkers will help tailoring healthcare to each individual for patient’s benefit.
Considering the importance of the inflammatory storm on disease severity and patient outcome, we will first focus on inflammation-associated miRNAs. Knowing that one fifth of infected patients die from cardiovascular cause and not respiratory issues, we will also study miRNAs known to be related to cardiovascular disease.
We will measure circulating levels of inflammatory and cardiac miRNAs by quantitative RT-PCR in plasma samples collected at admission in patients of the Luxembourg Predi-COVID study, and we will determine their ability to predict disease severity based on symptoms at 3 weeks (mild versus severe). We will use plasma samples from the first 100 patients enrolled in Predi-COVID study to allow project completion within 6 months.
This pilot study is in line with the National Research priorities, with the Research priorities defined by the WHO’s Coordinated Global Research Roadmap (“need to implement diagnostics to improve clinical processes”) and by the European Commission (“tackle the spread of coronavirus and preparedness for other outbreaks”). It is the initial phase towards a large multicenter international study with members of the EU-Cardio RNA COST Action COVID-19 Task Force.
Effective start/end date1/06/2031/03/21


  • FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche: €50,000.00


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