COVID-19 is defined as a respiratory illness, although the consequences of the novel coronavirus are not really limited to one organ.
A lot of recent autopsies reveal persistent proof of SARS-CoV-2 throughout the body, including in the lungs, the heart, the spleen, the kidneys, the liver, the colon, the thorax, muscles, nerves, the reproductive tract, the eye, and the brain.
Rests of the new coronavirus were discovered in the brain of a deceased patient 230 days after they initially started displaying symptoms, in one specific autopsy.
“Our results suggest that in certain individuals SARS-CoV-2 is able to result in systemic illness and remain within the body for months,” conclude the authors of the research, led by scientists in the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Autopsies on people who have contracted COVID-19 have revealed first signs of multi-organ spread, with genetic remains of the disease in many tissues, fluids and organs.
In July of 2020, additional autopsies revealed evidence of blood clots in almost every vital organ of individuals who had contracted COVID-19.
Today NIH analysis replicates and also confirms these results in greater detail than in the past.
The data represent the most comprehensive study to date on the cellular persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in the human body, the researchers stated.
Forty four autopsies happened to be used in the research, in which researchers thoroughly detected and quantified the amount of messenger RNA from SARS-CoV-2 in eighty five locations and fluids. This particular genetic info is a sign of where the disease may have replicated throughout an individuals life.
From April 2020 to March 2021, autopsies of more mature, unvaccinated people who died from COVID-19 displayed abundant signs of SARS-CoV-2 replication in a total of 79 locations as well as body fluids.
Furthermore, some of the changes were apparent within 2 weeks after symptoms initially began to appear.
Strangely enough, while the lungs showed probably the most inflammation and injury, other organs and the brain did not show significant tissue modifications, despite a significant viral burden.
The authors don’t know the reason. For example, it could be the human immune system is not as effective at targeting these other parts of the body when compared with the lungs.
After the COVID-19 recovery, scientists discovered evidence that the lungs were less infected than they had been initially, while other websites did not show nearly as much improvement.
Even though the highest burden of SARS-CoV-2 is within the respiratory tissues, the results demonstrate the virus is able to spread throughout the whole body.
Another mystery is how the virus spreads so widely. The current study did not usually demonstrate detectable viral remnants in the blood plasma, which implies the pathogen may be going through other means.
A lot could be revealed about exactly why a few COVID-19 patients suffer from long-range SARS-CoV-2 infections, by understanding how it spreads and continues in the human body.
The NIH study didn’t specifically experiment with night COVID patients, but the outcomes might be pertinent for future treatment plans.
Antivirals, such as Paxlovid, for example, might help the human immune system remove viral cells from tissues, organs, and fluids which might be otherwise hard to get to.
That may help decrease lingering symptoms, in turn.
“We’re looking to replicate the information on viral persistence and investigate the connection with night COVID,” says among the authors, Stephen Hewitt, from the National Cancer Institute.
“Less than a year in we’ve around 85 cases, and we’re attempting to expand these efforts.”
The study was published in Nature.