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      Pathogenesis of Multiple Organ Injury in COVID-19 and Potential Therapeutic Strategies


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          Severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, formerly 2019-nCoV) is a novel coronavirus that has rapidly disseminated worldwide, causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As of January 6th, 2021, there were over 86 million global confirmed cases, and the disease has claimed over 1.87 million lives (a ∼2.2% case fatality rate). SARS-CoV-2 is able to infect human cells by binding its spike (S) protein to angiotensin-conversing enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is expressed abundantly in several cell types and tissues. ACE2 has extensive biological activities as a component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) and plays a pivotal role as counter-regulator of angiotensin II (Ang II) activity by converting the latter to Ang (1-7). Virion binding to ACE2 for host cell entry leads to internalization of both via endocytosis, as well as activation of ADAM17/TACE, resulting in downregulation of ACE2 and loss of its protective actions in the lungs and other organs. Although COVID-19 was initially described as a purely respiratory disease, it is now known that infected individuals can rapidly progress to a multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. In fact, all human structures that express ACE2 are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or to the downstream effects of reduced ACE2 levels, namely systemic inflammation and injury. In this review, we aim to summarize the major features of SARS-CoV-2 biology and the current understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis, as well as its clinical repercussions in the lung, heart, kidney, bowel, liver, and brain. We also highlight potential therapeutic targets and current global efforts to identify safe and effective therapies against this life-threatening condition.

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          Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

          Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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            Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

            Abstract Background Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)
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              Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

              Summary Background Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of patients with COVID-19 have been reported but risk factors for mortality and a detailed clinical course of illness, including viral shedding, have not been well described. Methods In this retrospective, multicentre cohort study, we included all adult inpatients (≥18 years old) with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 from Jinyintan Hospital and Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital (Wuhan, China) who had been discharged or had died by Jan 31, 2020. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data, including serial samples for viral RNA detection, were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between survivors and non-survivors. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to explore the risk factors associated with in-hospital death. Findings 191 patients (135 from Jinyintan Hospital and 56 from Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital) were included in this study, of whom 137 were discharged and 54 died in hospital. 91 (48%) patients had a comorbidity, with hypertension being the most common (58 [30%] patients), followed by diabetes (36 [19%] patients) and coronary heart disease (15 [8%] patients). Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of in-hospital death associated with older age (odds ratio 1·10, 95% CI 1·03–1·17, per year increase; p=0·0043), higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score (5·65, 2·61–12·23; p<0·0001), and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL (18·42, 2·64–128·55; p=0·0033) on admission. Median duration of viral shedding was 20·0 days (IQR 17·0–24·0) in survivors, but SARS-CoV-2 was detectable until death in non-survivors. The longest observed duration of viral shedding in survivors was 37 days. Interpretation The potential risk factors of older age, high SOFA score, and d-dimer greater than 1 μg/mL could help clinicians to identify patients with poor prognosis at an early stage. Prolonged viral shedding provides the rationale for a strategy of isolation of infected patients and optimal antiviral interventions in the future. Funding Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences; National Science Grant for Distinguished Young Scholars; National Key Research and Development Program of China; The Beijing Science and Technology Project; and Major Projects of National Science and Technology on New Drug Creation and Development.

                Author and article information

                Front Physiol
                Front Physiol
                Front. Physiol.
                Frontiers in Physiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                28 January 2021
                28 January 2021
                : 12
                : 593223
                [1] 1Biosystems & Integrative Sciences Institute, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon , Lisbon, Portugal
                [2] 2Laboratory of Pulmonary Investigation, Carlos Chagas Filho Biophysics Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [3] 3National Institute of Science and Technology for Regenerative Medicine , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [4] 4Rio de Janeiro Innovation Network in Nanosystems for Health-NanoSAÚDE/FAPERJ , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [5] 5COVID-19 Virus Network, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation , Brasília, Brazil
                [6] 6COVID-19 Virus Network, Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development , Brasília, Brazil
                [7] 7COVID-19 Virus Network, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – FAPERJ , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [8] 8Anesthesia and Intensive Care, San Martino Policlinico Hospital, IRCCS for Oncology and Neuroscience , Genoa, Italy
                [9] 9Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostic, University of Genoa , Genoa, Italy
                [10] 10Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Carlos Chagas Filho Biophysics Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                [11] 11Laboratory of Biochemistry and Cell Signaling, Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
                Author notes

                Edited by: Ravi Nistala, University of Missouri, United States

                Reviewed by: Massimo Volpe, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; Savneet Kaur, The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS), India

                *Correspondence: Miquéias Lopes-Pacheco, mlopes0811@ 123456gmail.com
                Patricia Rieken Macedo Rocco, prmrocco@ 123456gmail.com

                This article was submitted to Integrative Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Physiology

                Copyright © 2021 Lopes-Pacheco, Silva, Cruz, Battaglini, Robba, Pelosi, Morales, Caruso Neves and Rocco.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 11 August 2020
                : 08 January 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 236, Pages: 23, Words: 0
                Funded by: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico 10.13039/501100003593
                Funded by: Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro 10.13039/501100004586

                Anatomy & Physiology
                ace2,coronavirus,lung,multiple organ dysfunction,pathophysiology,sars-cov-2,therapy,viral infection


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