20 January 2022

SARS-CoV-2 and calprotectin

COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has stretched hospital and ICU resources to their limits in almost every country, and is so far responsible for 4.5 million documented deaths.

SARS-CoV-2 has been reported to lead to viral sepsis [ref. 1,2]. Additionally, severe COVID-19 cases are characterized by an hyperinflammatory response of the immune system, also called cytokine storm, whose pathology is very similar to bacterial sepsis [ref. 3].

Calprotectin is a heterodimer of two proteins: S100A8 (also known as calgranulin A) and S100A9 (also known as calgranulin B), that is associated with the inflammatory response to infection. Calprotectin has been identified as an early biomarker for sepsis, and is expressed upon activation of neutrophil granulocytes in response to inflammation and infection [ref. 4,5].

In the case of SARS-CoV-2, calprotectin levels have also been shown to be significantly higher in severe COVID-19 cases [ref. 7]. Recent evidence has shown a potential role for calprotectin, both as a diagnostic tool and also as a tool in determining the severity of COVID-19 cases [ref. 6]. Calprotectin could become a major diagnosis tool, allowing for the early prediction of viral sepsis in COVID-19 patients.

Bertin Bioreagent offers ELISA kit for calprotectin quantification in complex human samples (CatNo: A05083).


  1. Vincent JL. COVID-19: it’s all about sepsis. Future Microbiol. 2021;16:131-133.
  2. Shappell CN, Klompas M, Rhee C. Does severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 cause sepsis? Crit Care Med. 2020;48(12):1707-1709.
  3. Li H, Liu L, Zhang D, et al. SARS-CoV-2 and viral sepsis: observations and hypotheses. Lancet. 2020;395(10235):1517-1520.
  4. Fullerton J et al. Kinetics of calprotectin, procalcitonin and C-reactive protein in healthy volunteers administered intravenous endotoxin. 40th International Symposium on Intensive Care & Emergency Medicine. Critical Care. 2020. P474
  5. Jonsson N, Nilsen T, Gille-Johnson P, et al. Calprotectin as an early biomarker of bacterial infections in critically ill patients: an exploratory cohort assessment. Crit Care Resusc. 2017;19(3):205-213.
  6. Udeh R, Advani S, de Guadiana Romualdo LG, Dolja-Gore X. Calprotectin, an emerging biomarker of interest in covid-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Clin Med. 2021;10(4):775.
  7. Silvin A, Chapuis N, Dunsmore G, et al. Elevated calprotectin and abnormal myeloid cell subsets discriminate severe from mild covid-19. Cell. 2020;182(6):1401-1418.e18.

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