According to new research, severe SARS-CoV-2 infection can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome and multi-organ failure.
Two investigations conducted by two research groups shed fresh light on the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19. The researchers used single-nucleus RNA sequencing to analyze 116,000 nuclei from snap-frozen lungs obtained immediately after death from 19 people who died with COVID-19, as well as seven control lungs.
They discovered that the lungs of COVID-19-deceased people were extensively inflammatory, with extensive infiltrations of abnormally activated macrophages.
Melms J. C., the initial study’s principal researcher and his colleagues from the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York discovered evidence of plasma cells capable of producing neutralizing antibodies, but noted that T cell responses appeared to be impaired -indicating that, despite potentially sufficient humoral immune responses, inadequate T cell response.
In addition, Toni Dalorey and colleagues from the Klarman Cell Observatory, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, present single-cell atlases of 23 lungs, 16 kidneys, 16 liver, and 19 heart autopsy samples from individuals who died of COVID-19 and compare them to the spatial atlases of 14 SARS-CoV-2-infected lungs.
However, the authors of both research, which were published on May 14 in Nature, stated that their investigations were hampered by their small sample size.
Nonetheless, the researchers believe that their results will contribute to a body of research that will be a valuable resource for understanding the pathophysiology of COVID-19.
Dr Julian Ojebo, a Specialist Registrar and Associate Fellow in Anaesthesia & Critical Care at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo State, commented on the study, adding that studies on the inflammatory response of the body to COVID-19 are ongoing, as are post mortem studies on the Alveolar Type II epithelial cells.
While the ATII should help halt the inflammation, it has been discovered that the COVID-19 destroys it, according to Ojebo.
He went on to say that “lung fibrosis stops oxygen from entering the lungs, causing the patient to gasp for more oxygen.”
“Cytokine storm is still the reason for death after severe COVID-19. What you see as the patient having difficulty in breathing at the tissue level is this disruption of this small environment at the lungs.
“What we do in the hospital is to try and halt the process and support the patient to breathe,” Ojebo said.