Predicting COVID-19—Comorbidity Pathway Crosstalk-Based Targets and Drugs: Towards Personalized COVID-19 Management

Debmalya Barh, Alaa A. Aljabali, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Sandeep Tiwari, Ángel Serrano-aroca, Khalid J. Alzahrani, Bruno Silva Andrade, Vasco Azevedo, Nirmal Kumar Ganguly, Kenneth Lundstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


It is well established that pre-existing comorbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), chronic kidney diseases (CKDs), cancers, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are associated with increased severity and fatality of COVID-19. The increased death from COVID-19 is due to the unavailability of a gold standard therapeutic and, more importantly, the lack of understanding of how the comorbid conditions and COVID-19 interact at the molecular level, so that personalized management strategies can be adopted. Here, using multi-omics data sets and bioinformatics strategy, we identified the pathway crosstalk between COVID-19 and diabetes, hypertension, CVDs, CKDs, and cancers. Further, shared pathways and hub gene-based targets for COVID-19 and its associated specific and combination of comorbid conditions are also predicted towards developing personalized management strategies. The approved drugs for most of these identified targets are also provided towards drug repurposing. Literature supports the involvement of our identified shared pathways in pathogenesis of COVID-19 and development of the specific comorbid condition of interest. Similarly, shared pathways- and hub gene-based targets are also found to have potential implementations in managing COVID-19 patients. However, the identified targets and drugs need further careful evaluation for their repurposing towards personalized treatment of COVID-19 cases having pre-existing specific comorbid conditions we have considered in this analysis. The method applied here may also be helpful in identifying common pathway components and targets in other disease-disease interactions too.
Original languageEnglish
Article number556
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number5
Early online date17 May 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 17 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: A.A.A. is supported by The Deanship of Scientific Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Yarmouk, Grant Number (28/2021). K.J.A. is supported by the Taif University Researchers Supporting Program (project number: TURSP-2020/128), Taif University, Saudi Arabia. V.A. acknowledges the CAPES grants #88887.506611/2020-00, #88887.504420/2020-00, and #88887-364940/2019-00.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • COVID-19
  • comorbidity
  • drug targets
  • personalized therapy
  • shared pathways
  • Drug targets
  • Comorbidity
  • Personalized therapy
  • Shared pathways


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