Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has a broad range of clinical manifestations, highlighting the need for specific diagnostic tools to predict disease severity and improve patient prognosis. Recently, calprotectin (S100A8/A9) has been proposed as a potential biomarker for COVID-19, as elevated serum S100A8/A9 levels are associated with critical COVID-19 cases and can distinguish between mild and severe disease states. S100A8/A9 is an alarmin that mediates host proinflammatory responses during infection and it has been postulated that S100A8/A9 modulates the cytokine storm; the hallmark of fatal COVID-19 cases. However, it has yet to be determined if S100A8/A9 is a bona-fide biomarker for COVID-19. S100A8/A9 is widely implicated in a variety of inflammatory conditions, such as cystic fibrosis (CF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), as well as pulmonary infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and influenza. Therefore, understanding how S100A8/A9 levels correlate with immune responses during inflammatory diseases is necessary to evaluate its candidacy as a potential COVID-19 biomarker. This review will outline the protective and detrimental roles of S100A8/A9 during infection, summarize the recent findings detailing the contributions of S100A8/A9 to COVID-19 pathogenesis, and highlight its potential as diagnostic biomarker and a therapeutic target for pulmonary infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
- pulmonary pathogens