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Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic is a worldwide challenge. The CRIT-CoV-U pilot study generated a urinary proteomic biomarker consisting of 50 peptides (COV50), which predicted death and disease progression from SARS-CoV-2. After the interim analysis presented for the German Government, here, we aimed to analyse the full dataset to consolidate the findings and propose potential clinical applications of this biomarker.

Methods: CRIT-CoV-U was a prospective multicentre cohort study. In eight European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Greece, North Macedonia, Poland, Spain, and Sweden), 1012 adults with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 were followed up for death and progression along the 8-point WHO scale. Capillary electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry was used for urinary proteomic profiling. Statistical methods included logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analysis with a comparison of the area under curve (AUC) between nested models. Hospitalisation costs were derived from the care facility corresponding with the Markov chain probability of reaching WHO scores ranging from 3 to 8 and flat-rate hospitalisation costs adjusted for the gross per capita domestic product of each country.

Findings: From June 30 to Nov 19, 2020, 228 participants were recruited, and from April 30, 2020, to April 14, 2021, 784 participants were recruited, resulting in a total of 1012 participants. The entry WHO scores were 1-3 in 445 (44%) participants, 4-5 in 529 (52%) participants, and 6 in 38 (4%) participants; and of all participants, 119 died and 271 had disease progression. The odds ratio (OR) associated with COV50 in all 1012 participants for death was 2·44 (95% CI 2·05-2·92) unadjusted and 1·67 (1·34-2·07) when adjusted for sex, age, BMI, comorbidities, and baseline WHO score; and for disease progression, the OR was 1·79 (1·60-2·01) when unadjusted and 1·63 (1·41-1·91) when adjusted (p

Interpretation: The urinary proteomic COV50 marker might be predictive of adverse COVID-19 outcomes. Even in people with mild-to-moderate PCR-confirmed infections (WHO scores 1-4), the 0·04 COV50 threshold justifies earlier drug treatment, thereby potentially reducing the number of days in hospital and associated costs.

Funding: German Federal Ministry of Health.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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The Lancet



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Mentor/PI Department




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