Deciphering COVID-19 Severity: Assessing FGF-18, WNT-5A, IL-17, and IL-33 Levels in the Infected Patients


  • Peshang Mohsin Muhammed Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Shukur Wasman Smail Department of Medical Microbiology, College of Science, Cihan University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. & Department of Biology, College of Science, Salahaddin University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Author
  • Kawa Abdulla Muhammed Amin Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. & Department of Medical Science, Respiratory Medicine, and Allergology, Uppsala University and University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden. Author



COVID-19 infection, pandemic disease, inflammation, biomarkers, immune system


Background: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that causes an infectious disease named coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).


Objectives: To test some biomarkers (Fibroblastic growth factor (FGF)-18, wingless-related integration site (WNT-5A), interleukin (IL)-17, and IL-33 to predict the severity of COVID-19.


Patients and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done on 180 participants (90 healthy control and 90 COVID-19-positive patients) at the emergency units of the hospitals in four cities of Northern Iraq from July 01 to December 01, 2021. The obtained serum from collected blood was tested to determine IL-17, IL-33, FGF-18, and WNT-5 levels using the ELISA technique. Additionally, CRP concentration was measured using immunoturbidimetry on Cobas c311.


Results: Regarding the sociodemographic data, most moderately infected patients were aged 46-64 years and were males (35.6%, 64.4%, respectively). The most severely infected patients were older than 65 years and were females (60%). The highest mean serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (59.53±40.06 mg/dl), IL-17 (36.90±22.61 pg/ml), FGF-18 (179.8±291.37 pg/mL), IL-33 (248.11±506.71 pg/ml) were reported among the severely infected patients, while the highest mean serum level of WNT-5A was observed among moderately infected patients (5.03±5.73 ng/ml). Regarding the correlations between biomarkers, in moderately infected patients, a negative correlation between CRP and IL-33; CRP and IL-17 was observed, with a positive correlation between IL-33 and IL-17. Conversely, no correlations were seen between IL-33 and WNT-5 whereas correlations between IL-33 and IL-17 were seen in severely infected individuals. Simultaneously, a correlation between the patient’s body mass index (BMI) and CRP was detected.


Conclusions: The disease was more severe among elderly, females, and overweight patients. All biomarkers, except WNT-5A, were significantly associated with the severity of COVID-19.


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How to Cite

Deciphering COVID-19 Severity: Assessing FGF-18, WNT-5A, IL-17, and IL-33 Levels in the Infected Patients. (2023). Journal of Zankoy Sulaimani - Part A, 25(2), 10.

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