Megakaryocyte subtypes are predictive biomarkers of COVID-19 severity

  • The global COVID-19 diagnostics market size was estimated at USD 84.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% from 2021 to 2027
  • Predictive biomarkers of COVID-19 severity remain a need to better anticipate outcomes and direct preventative measures in COVID-19 patients.
  • A specific subtype of megakaryocyte was found to highly correlate with poor prognosis for patients with COVID-19.


Despite the increase in vaccinated individuals there is still a steady influx of new cases and the threat of emergent strains
with increased virulence. There remains a need for prognostic indicators of COVID-19 outcomes in order to appropriately
delegate resources and implement preventative measures before symptoms become life threatening. Though
megakaryocytes are typically considered bone marrow resident cells that produce platelets, recent evidence suggests that
megakaryocytes may also reside in tissues outside of bone marrow and have immune functions. Investigators at UAB have
identified a subtype of megakaryocyte that, when found in combination with the SARS-CoV2 spike protein, were found to
highly correlate with poor prognosis among COVID-19 patients. Over 200 blood samples from COVID-19 patients were
measured and elevated levels of this subtype of megakaryocyte were associated with increased probability of mortality, ICU
admission, mechanical ventilation, respiratory failure, thrombotic events and acute kidney injury.



This biomarker can be beneficial in delegating resources and in implementing preventative measures before symptoms become life threatening.

Potential Applications

COVID-19 prognosis and treatment guidance

Contact Information

Name: Karen F. Bernard


Phone: (205) 934-8826