A Network Medicine Approach to Investigation and Population-based Validation of Disease Manifestations and Drug Repurposing for COVID-19


Zhou Y, Hou Y, Shen J, Kallianpur A, Zein J, Culver DA, Farha S, Comhair S, Fiocchi C, Gack MU, Mehra R, Stappenbeck T, Chan T, Eng C, Jung JU, Jehi L, Erzurum S, Cheng F




ChemRxiv . 2020 Jul 2

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The global Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has led to unprecedented social and economic consequences. The risk of morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19 increases dramatically in the presence of co-existing medical conditions while the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Furthermore, there are no proven effective therapies for COVID-19. This study aims to identify SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, diseases manifestations, and COVID-19 therapies using network medicine methodologies along with clinical and multi-omics observations.

We incorporate SARS-CoV-2 virus-host protein-protein interactions, transcriptomics, and proteomics into the human interactome. Network proximity measure revealed underlying pathogenesis for broad COVID-19-associated manifestations. Multi-modal analyses of single-cell RNA-sequencing data showed that co-expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 was elevated in absorptive enterocytes from the inflamed ileal tissues of Crohn’s disease patients compared to uninflamed tissues, revealing shared pathobiology by COVID-19 and inflammatory bowel disease. Integrative analyses of metabolomics and transcriptomics (bulk and single-cell) data from asthma patients indicated that COVID-19 shared intermediate inflammatory endophenotypes with asthma (including IRAK3 and ADRB2).

To prioritize potential treatment, we combined network-based prediction and propensity score (PS) matching observational study of 18,118 patients from a COVID-19 registry. We identified that melatonin (odds ratio (OR) = 0.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.22-0.59) was associated with 64% reduced likelihood of a positive laboratory test result for SARS-CoV-2. Using PS-matching user active comparator design, melatonin was associated with 54% reduced likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 positive test result compared to angiotensin II receptor blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (OR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.24-0.86).

Update in: PLoS Biol. 2020 Nov 6;18(11):e3000970

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