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The analysis by AutoDiscovery, a blessing to finish our studies amid the work overload by COVID-19 pandemic...

Dr. Eduardo López-Collazo, MD PhD, Head of Innate Immune Response group (Institute of Biomedical Research, La Paz Hospital)

What Is This Work About?


With the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the IdiPAZ Innate Immune Response group, led by Dr. Eduardo López-Collazo, decided to start a project focusing on the immune system of COVID-19 patients. In collaboration with the emergency service of Hospital La Paz (Madrid, Spain), we began to collect samples from patients as soon as they arrived at the emergency admission.


The main objective of the work was to recognize early markers of the disease that are associated with the final evolution of the patient.

On the other hand, this work aimed to describe the immune changes that occurred in COVID-19 patients with one of the most used immunomodulators in this pathology, corticosteroids.


Dr. Eduardo López-Collazo


Dr. José Avendaño-Ortiz


What Problem Did We Face?


"The work overload during these months prevented the team from dedicating enough time to statistically analyze all the information collected.


The semi-automatic analysis of AutoDiscovery was like a blessing so that part of our results did not end up in a drawer or lost in an excel. ", Dr. José Avendaño-Ortiz, postdoctoral researcher in Dr. López-Collazo's group says.

In short, AutoDiscovery took close to 6 hours to assess 149.000 statistical analyses related to 12 pre-defined clinical exploratory questions (goals) in the right methodological way, giving us a measure of the complexity of this challenge.

Which Was The Contribution Of AutoDiscovery To This Work?


"AutoDiscovery allowed us to analyze a large amount of data in a fast and intuitive way. The fact of doing it in this completely unbiased way allowed us to recognize those most significant immune biomarkers with high potential to serve as predictors of evolution", Dr. López-Collazo says.

Another of the milestones of the work was that a large number of the immune receptors studied are poorly understood. "Some of the markers that we have analyzed, such as CD162, GITR, B7H5, or HVEM, have been little studied. We were not very clear about what could result. Thanks to AutoDiscovery we have been able to identify some of them to the severity of COVID or the corticosteroid treatment", says Dr. López-Collazo.

momento muestra-trat against median_b7h5(cd8+).png
evolution_5 against median_cd162(cd3+).png

Among other results, we found that the adaptive immune system of severe patients was characterized by increased expression of CD162 and CD223 and lower expression of CD226 in all CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ 145 T cells.


Other relevant result (see figures) was that T cells showed B7H5 and CD270 increment after treatment, accompanied by increments of CD108 in both cells and CD226 in CD4+ and CD223 in CD8+.


The key features of AutoDiscovery applied to this work were:

  • The non-guided exploratory strategy proposed by the software, which has proved its effectiveness to analyze and compare multiple variables starting with a set of exploratory questions.



Would you like to contact Eduardo and José?



Hospital Universitario La Paz
P.º de la Castellana, 261

28046 Madrid (Spain)


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