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1.
Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 225(6): 593.e1-593.e9, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439825

ABSTRACT

Pregnant individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have higher rates of intensive care unit admission, oxygen requirement, need for mechanical ventilation, and death than nonpregnant individuals. Increased COVID-19 disease severity may be associated with an increased risk of viremia and placental infection. Maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection is also associated with pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and preterm birth, which can be either placentally mediated or reflected in the placenta. Maternal viremia followed by placental infection may lead to maternal-fetal transmission (vertical), which affects 1% to 3% of exposed newborns. However, there is no agreed-upon or standard definition of placental infection. The National Institutes of Health/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development convened a group of experts to propose a working definition of placental infection to inform ongoing studies of SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy. Experts recommended that placental infection be defined using techniques that allow virus detection and localization in placental tissue by one or more of the following methods: in situ hybridization with antisense probe (detects replication) or a sense probe (detects viral messenger RNA) or immunohistochemistry to detect viral nucleocapsid or spike proteins. If the abovementioned methods are not possible, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction detection or quantification of viral RNA in placental homogenates, or electron microscopy are alternative approaches. A graded classification for the likelihood of placental infection as definitive, probable, possible, and unlikely was proposed. Manuscripts reporting placental infection should describe the sampling method (location and number of samples collected), method of preservation of tissue, and detection technique. Recommendations were made for the handling of the placenta, examination, and sampling and the use of validated reagents and sample protocols (included as appendices).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/diagnosis , Placenta Diseases/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/diagnosis , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Consensus , Female , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Microscopy, Electron , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U.S.) , Pregnancy , United States/epidemiology
2.
Am J Surg Pathol ; 45(1): 14-24, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015416

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although SARS-CoV-2 is visualized on electron microscopy, there is an increasing demand for widely applicable techniques to visualize viral components within tissue specimens. Viral protein and RNA can be detected on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH), respectively. Herein, we evaluate the staining performance of ISH for SARS-CoV-2 and an IHC directed at the SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein and compare these results to a gold standard, tissue quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We evaluated FFPE sections from 8 COVID-19 autopsies, including 19 pulmonary and 39 extrapulmonary samples including the heart, liver, kidney, small intestine, skin, adipose tissue, and bone marrow. We performed RNA-ISH for SARS-CoV-2 on all cases with IHC for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 qRT-PCR performed on selected cases. Lungs from 37 autopsies performed before the COVID-19 pandemic served as negative controls. The ISH and IHC slides were reviewed by 4 observers to record a consensus opinion. Selected ISH and IHC slides were also reviewed by 4 independent observers. Evidence of SARS-CoV-2 was identified on both the IHC and ISH platforms. Within the postmortem lung, detected viral protein and RNA were often extracellular, predominantly within hyaline membranes in patients with diffuse alveolar damage. Among individual cases, there was regional variation in the amount of detectable virus in lung samples. Intracellular viral RNA and protein was localized to pneumocytes and immune cells. Viral RNA was detected on RNA-ISH in 13 of 19 (68%) pulmonary FFPE blocks from patients with COVID-19. Viral protein was detected on IHC in 8 of 9 (88%) pulmonary FFPE blocks from patients with COVID-19, although in 5 cases the stain was interpreted as equivocal. From the control cohort, FFPE blocks from all 37 patients were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA-ISH, whereas 5 of 13 cases were positive on IHC. Collectively, when compared with qRT-PCR on individual tissue blocks, the sensitivity and specificity for ISH was 86.7% and 100%, respectively, while those for IHC were 85.7% and 53.3%, respectively. The interobserver variability for ISH ranged from moderate to almost perfect, whereas that for IHC ranged from slight to moderate. All extrapulmonary samples from COVID-19-positive cases were negative for SARS-CoV-2 by ISH, IHC, and qRT-PCR. SARS-CoV-2 is detectable on both RNA-ISH and nucleocapsid IHC. In the lung, viral RNA and nucleocapsid protein is predominantly extracellular and within hyaline membranes in some cases, while intracellular locations are more prominent in others. The intracellular virus is detected within pneumocytes, bronchial epithelial cells, and possibly immune cells. The ISH platform is more specific, easier to analyze and the interpretation is associated with the improved interobserver agreement. ISH, IHC, and qRT-PCR failed to detect the virus in the heart, liver, and kidney.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Lung/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Predictive Value of Tests , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproducibility of Results
3.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 6319, 2020 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-966313

ABSTRACT

The relationship of SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary infection and severity of disease is not fully understood. Here we show analysis of autopsy specimens from 24 patients who succumbed to SARS-CoV-2 infection using a combination of different RNA and protein analytical platforms to characterize inter-patient and intra-patient heterogeneity of pulmonary virus infection. There is a spectrum of high and low virus cases associated with duration of disease. High viral cases have high activation of interferon pathway genes and a predominant M1-like macrophage infiltrate. Low viral cases are more heterogeneous likely reflecting inherent patient differences in the evolution of host response, but there is consistent indication of pulmonary epithelial cell recovery based on napsin A immunohistochemistry and RNA expression of surfactant and mucin genes. Using a digital spatial profiling platform, we find the virus corresponds to distinct spatial expression of interferon response genes demonstrating the intra-pulmonary heterogeneity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Host Microbial Interactions , Interferons/metabolism , Lung , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases/metabolism , Autopsy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Interferons/genetics , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macrophages/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mucins/genetics , Mucins/metabolism , Surface-Active Agents/metabolism , Transcriptome , Viral Load
5.
Mod Pathol ; 33(11): 2092-2103, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-693331

ABSTRACT

Congenital infection of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be exceptionally rare despite many cases of COVID-19 during pregnancy. Robust proof of placental infection requires demonstration of viral localization within placental tissue. Only two of the few cases of possible vertical transmission have demonstrated placental infection. None have shown placental expression of the ACE2 or TMPRSS2 protein, both required for viral infection. We examined 19 COVID-19 exposed placentas for histopathologic findings, and for expression of ACE2, and TMPRSS2 by immunohistochemistry. Direct placental SARS-CoV-2 expression was studied by two methods-nucleocapsid protein expression by immunohistochemistry, and RNA expression by in situ hybridization. ACE2 membranous expression in the syncytiotrophoblast (ST) of the chorionic villi is predominantly in a polarized pattern with expression highest on the stromal side of the ST. In addition, cytotrophoblast and extravillous trophoblast express ACE2. No ACE2 expression was detected in villous stroma, Hofbauer cells, or endothelial cells. TMPRSS2 expression was only present weakly in the villous endothelium and rarely in the ST. In 2 of 19 cases, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was present in the placenta focally in the ST and cytotrophoblast. There was no characteristic histopathology present in our cases including the two placental infections. We found that the placenta is capable of being infected but that this event is rare. We propose one explanation could be the polarized expression of ACE2 away from the maternal blood and pronounced paucity of TMPRSS2 expression in trophoblast.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Placenta/pathology , Placenta/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/biosynthesis , Placenta/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/metabolism , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/pathology , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/biosynthesis
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