pte20210330014 Research / Development, Medicine / Wellness
Researchers from Jena University Hospital are studying tissue damage and viral loads in organs
|COVID-19 viruses on the surface of a lung cell (Photo: Sandor Nietzsche / UKJ)|
Jena (pte014 / 03/30/2021 / 10:36) – “Clinical observations, especially the experience with the post-COVID syndrome, suggest that COVID-19 is a systemic disease that affects not only the lungs but the entire body concerns. ” This is the conclusion reached by Stefanie Deinhardt-Emmer from Jena University Hospital (UKJ) http://uniklinikum-jena.de in the course of a current study on tissue damage caused by the coronavirus. Details were published in the online journal “eLife”.
Tissue damage in the lungs
In order to get a comprehensive picture of the disease in terms of microbiology and histology in very severe cases, the researchers performed autopsies on COVID-19 patients only a few hours after death. In this way, degradation processes in the tissues and the virus RNA could be kept to a minimum. For each patient, they documented the viral load of SARS-CoV-2, inflammation markers and tissue damage in over 60 samples in various organs. Using electron microscope images, they were able to detect intact virus particles in the lung tissue.
As expected, the Jena scientists found viral RNA mainly in the lungs, where the tissue was also badly affected. “Interestingly, we have also detected SARS-CoV-2-RNA in various other tissues and organs, such as the digestive organs, kidneys or the heart vessels. But the virus only attacked the tissue in the lungs,” said forensic doctor and co-author Daniel Wittschieber. The examined inflammatory markers and coagulation factors were increased in all patients.