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1.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4314, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1310804

ABSTRACT

Patients with chronic lung disease (CLD) have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and poor outcomes. Here, we analyze the transcriptomes of 611,398 single cells isolated from healthy and CLD lungs to identify molecular characteristics of lung cells that may account for worse COVID-19 outcomes in patients with chronic lung diseases. We observe a similar cellular distribution and relative expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors in control and CLD lungs. CLD AT2 cells express higher levels of genes linked directly to the efficiency of viral replication and the innate immune response. Additionally, we identify basal differences in inflammatory gene expression programs that highlight how CLD alters the inflammatory microenvironment encountered upon viral exposure to the peripheral lung. Our study indicates that CLD is accompanied by changes in cell-type-specific gene expression programs that prime the lung epithelium for and influence the innate and adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Lung Diseases/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcriptome , Virus Internalization , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Chronic Disease , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Inflammation/genetics , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung Diseases/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication/genetics
2.
Lancet Microbe ; 1(6): e245-e253, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065709

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe COVID-19 has a high mortality rate. Comprehensive pathological descriptions of COVID-19 are scarce and limited in scope. We aimed to describe the histopathological findings and viral tropism in patients who died of severe COVID-19. METHODS: In this case series, patients were considered eligible if they were older than 18 years, with premortem diagnosis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and COVID-19 listed clinically as the direct cause of death. Between March 1 and April 30, 2020, full post-mortem examinations were done on nine patients with confirmed COVID-19, including sampling of all major organs. A limited autopsy was done on one additional patient. Histochemical and immunohistochemical analyses were done, and histopathological findings were reported by subspecialist pathologists. Viral quantitative RT-PCR analysis was done on tissue samples from a subset of patients. FINDINGS: The median age at death of our cohort of ten patients was 73 years (IQR 52-79). Thrombotic features were observed in at least one major organ in all full autopsies, predominantly in the lung (eight [89%] of nine patients), heart (five [56%]), and kidney (four [44%]). Diffuse alveolar damage was the most consistent lung finding (all ten patients); however, organisation was noted in patients with a longer clinical course. We documented lymphocyte depletion (particularly CD8-positive T cells) in haematological organs and haemophagocytosis. Evidence of acute tubular injury was noted in all nine patients examined. Major unexpected findings were acute pancreatitis (two [22%] of nine patients), adrenal micro-infarction (three [33%]), pericarditis (two [22%]), disseminated mucormycosis (one [10%] of ten patients), aortic dissection (one [11%] of nine patients), and marantic endocarditis (one [11%]). Viral genomes were detected outside of the respiratory tract in four of five patients. The presence of subgenomic viral RNA transcripts provided evidence of active viral replication outside the respiratory tract in three of five patients. INTERPRETATION: Our series supports clinical data showing that the four dominant interrelated pathological processes in severe COVID-19 are diffuse alveolar damage, thrombosis, haemophagocytosis, and immune cell depletion. Additionally, we report here several novel autopsy findings including pancreatitis, pericarditis, adrenal micro-infarction, secondary disseminated mucormycosis, and brain microglial activation, which require additional investigation to understand their role in COVID-19. FUNDING: Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, Wellcome Trust, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mucormycosis , Pancreatitis , Pericarditis , Thrombosis , Acute Disease , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Infarction/pathology , Lung/pathology , Mucormycosis/pathology , Pancreatitis/pathology , Pericarditis/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/pathology , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Viral Tropism
3.
Cancer Treat Res Commun ; 25: 100261, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-956074

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: UK COVID-19 mortality rates are amongst the highest globally. Controversy exists on the vulnerability of thoracic cancer patients. We describe the characteristics and sequelae of patients with thoracic cancer treated at a UK cancer centre infected with COVID-19. METHODS: Patients undergoing care for thoracic cancer diagnosed with COVID-19 (RT-PCR/radiology/clinically) between March-June 2020 were included. Data were extracted from patient records. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were included: 14 (43%) diagnosed by RT-PCR, 18 (57%) by radiology and/or convincing symptoms. 88% had advanced thoracic malignancies. Eleven of 14 (79%) patients diagnosed by RT-PCR and 12 of 18 (56%) patients diagnosed by radiology/clinically were hospitalised, of which four (29%) and 2 (11%) patients required high-dependency/intensive care respectively. Three (21%) patients diagnosed by RT-PCR and 2 (11%) patients diagnosed by radiology/clinically required non-invasive ventilation; none were intubated. Complications included pneumonia and sepsis (43% and 14% respectively in patients diagnosed by RT-PCR; 17% and 11% respectively in patients diagnosed by radiology/clinically). In patients receiving active cancer treatment, therapy was delayed/ceased in 10/12 (83%) and 7/11 (64%) patients diagnosed by RT-PCR and radiology/clinically respectively. Nine (28%) patients died; all were smokers. Median time from symptom onset to death was 7 days (range 3-37). CONCLUSIONS: The immediate morbidity from COVID-19 is high in thoracic cancer patients. Hospitalisation and treatment interruption rates were high. Improved risk-stratification models for UK cancer patients are urgently needed to guide safe cancer-care delivery without compromising efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thoracic Neoplasms/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Critical Care , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Thoracic Neoplasms/complications , Thoracic Neoplasms/virology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
bioRxiv ; 2021 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-900764

ABSTRACT

Patients with chronic lung disease (CLD) have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and poor outcomes. Here, we analyzed the transcriptomes of 605,904 single cells isolated from healthy and CLD lungs to identify molecular characteristics of lung cells that may account for worse COVID-19 outcomes in patients with chronic lung diseases. We observed a similar cellular distribution and relative expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors in control and CLD lungs. CLD epithelial cells expressed higher levels of genes linked directly to the efficiency of viral replication and innate immune response. Additionally, we identified basal differences in inflammatory gene expression programs that highlight how CLD alters the inflammatory microenvironment encountered upon viral exposure to the peripheral lung. Our study indicates that CLD is accompanied by changes in cell-type-specific gene expression programs that prime the lung epithelium for and influence the innate and adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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