During the critical early stages of an emerging pandemic, limited availability of pathogen-specific testing can severely inhibit individualized risk screening and pandemic tracking. Standard clinical laboratory tests offer a widely available complementary data source for first-line risk screening and pandemic surveillance. Here, we propose an integrated framework for developing clinical-laboratory indicators for novel pandemics that combines population-level and individual-level analyses. We apply this framework to 7,520,834 clinical laboratory tests recorded over five years and find clinical-lab-test combinations that are strongly associated with SARS-CoV-2 PCR test results and Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) diagnoses: Interleukin-related tests (e.g. IL4, IL10) were most strongly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection and MIS-C, while other more widely available tests (ferritin, D-dimer, fibrinogen, alanine transaminase, and C-reactive protein) also had strong associations. When novel pandemics emerge, this framework can be used to identify specific combinations of clinical laboratory tests for public health tracking and first-line individualized risk screening.

Fuente: npj Digital Medicine