This article is part of Harvard Medical Schoolscontinuing coverageof medicine, biomedical research, medical education and policy related to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the disease COVID-19.
What does SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, do once it enters a persons airways, and how does infection in lung cells affect patients immune responses?
New research led by Harvard Medical School investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and published inNature Communicationsprovides insights that could help improve treatment strategies for infected patients.
Get more HMS news here
The findings suggest treatments that target viral replication, such as remdesivir, may be effective only in the early phase of infection, according to the study authors.
To analyze SARS-CoV-2 at the tissue level, the scientists examined autopsied material from 24 patients who died from complications of COVID-19.
The analyses revealed two phases of infection in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.
The early phase is defined by high levels of virus in the lungs that trigger patients cells to express genes involved with the interferon pathway, a critical part of the immune response. In the later phase, virus is no longer present, but the damage to the lungs is too severe for recovery.
The interferon response to SARS-CoV-2 indicates that peoples immune systems are able to attack SARS-CoV-2, but the response is variable between patients and even in different parts of the lung of the same patient, making a one drug fits all therapy approach difficult, said co-corresponding author David Ting, HMS assistant professor of medicine and associate clinical director for innovation at the Mass General Cancer Center.
The team also found that there is surprisingly very little viral replication in the lungs, which suggests that the virus is mostly replicating in the nasal passages and then dropping into the lungs, where it can cause pneumonia and other complications.
It will be important to conduct additional autopsy analyses to better understand the extent and timing of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the lungs and other tissues, which could lead to improved treatment strategies for patients with COVID-19, the authors said.
In the study, the team used a method called RNA in situ hybridization to visualize SARS-CoV-2 in human lung specimens.
This assay is now a clinical test being used at MGH to understand what tissues can be infected by the virus, Ting said.
Adapted from a Mass General news release.
- UMass Medical School CIO Greg Wolf receives CIO of the Year award - UMass Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- Life changing moments during Match Week at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - WCVB Boston - July 1st, 2021
- Birding Their Way to the Clinic | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine Reaches Another Milestone by Receiving Provisional Accreditation - TCU - July 1st, 2021
- AIIMS races ahead of Oxford, Cambridge in rankings for best medical schools in the world - India TV News - July 1st, 2021
- Summer School Is Here - The New York Times - July 1st, 2021
- How future physicians can make their medical research stand out - American Medical Association - July 1st, 2021
- 'I no longer think there's any chance he's alive': UC alum missing after Florida condo collapse - WCPO - July 1st, 2021
- Reflecting on LGBTQ mental health discrimination in NC - North Carolina Health News - July 1st, 2021
- Radiology ranks tops among specialties with physicians worth more than $5M - Health Imaging - July 1st, 2021
- Baxter Announces $1.2 Million in New Scholarships and Grant Funding to Support Students Pursuing Health and Sciences at Historically Black Colleges... - July 1st, 2021
- Medical Education Market Giants Spending Is Going To Boom | Harvard Medical School, Zimmer Biomet Institute, Medical Training College The Manomet... - July 1st, 2021
- David Cochran receives grant from Eagles Foundation to study biomarker-driven drug treatment for autism - UMass Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- Tokyo medical school won't pay staff over virus leave caused by 'inappropriate behavior' - The Mainichi - The Mainichi - February 10th, 2021
- ASU ranks 6th in research among US universities without a medical school - The State Press - February 10th, 2021
- U Of M Medical School Sees Increase In Student Applications - FOX 21 Online - February 10th, 2021
- Accreditation process of medical school in Tyler moves forward; first class likely set for 2023 - Tyler Morning Telegraph - February 10th, 2021
- Women now outnumber men in med school. And studies show thats good for patients. - Houston Chronicle - February 10th, 2021
- Medical school suspends study that would have tortured transgender people for science - LGBTQ Nation - February 10th, 2021
- Surge in African American medical school applicants drive to action by Covid - Yahoo News - February 10th, 2021
- [Full text] Is Asking Questions on Rounds a Teachable Skill?[Response to Letter] | AMEP - Dove Medical Press - February 10th, 2021
- Black doctors in white coats on a mission to cure racism and discrimination in the workplace - WCNC.com - February 10th, 2021
- UKZN sets the record straight on 'Operation Clever' probe into fraud at medical school - IOL - February 10th, 2021
- Giving health care heroes a voice on social media - American Medical Association - February 10th, 2021
- Study Reveals Anticoagulation Therapy in Intubated Covid-19 Patients Reduces Mortality | | SBU News - Stony Brook News - February 10th, 2021
- Half of Ontario's medical schools are now named after wealthy donors - The Conversation CA - December 17th, 2020
- Yes, It's Possible To Have a Baby In Medical School Here's How - Pager Publications, Inc. - December 17th, 2020
- California's medical school diversity "nowhere near where it needs to be" - State of Reform - State of Reform - December 17th, 2020
- Medical School Keeps Students on Track By Switching to Virtual and Back - The Roanoke Star - December 17th, 2020
- UT Health Austin and Dell Medical School among first facilities in Texas to receive COVID-19 vaccine - Community Impact Newspaper - December 17th, 2020
- Medical schools see spike in students inspired to apply by the pandemic - KBJR 6 - December 17th, 2020
- How to make the most of holiday time off as a medical student - American Medical Association - December 17th, 2020
- UT Austin's Dell Medical School Is The First Institution In Central Texas Receiving Shipment Of COVID-19 Vaccine - KUT - December 17th, 2020
- Degrees of Protection | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - December 17th, 2020
- The Pandemic Thrusts Telepsychiatry to the Fore | NYU Langone News - NYU Langone Health - December 17th, 2020
- Texas A&M To Grow Medical Education In Round Rock, Surrounding Area - Texas A&M University Today - December 17th, 2020
- Pitt cardiologist sues school after backlash to his article on affirmative action - TribLIVE - December 17th, 2020
- At a Crossroads: Medicine and the Movement - Columbia University Irving Medical Center - December 17th, 2020
- Jameson's term extended as head of Penn Health System and Perelman School of Medicine - Penn Today - December 17th, 2020
- Touro University Nevada's College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2021 Achieves the Highest COMLEX Exam Pass Rate in the Country - PRNewswire - December 17th, 2020
- Hear what the experts from Houston Fights COVID have to say about a new vaccine - KTRK-TV - November 30th, 2020
- Medical Education Research and Innovation Conference set for Dec. 8 - The South End - November 30th, 2020
- 2 Corning-area natives experience COVID-19 pandemic battle on the frontlines - Star-Gazette - November 30th, 2020
- Three Yalies honored for their impact on and beyond Yale with 2020 Yale-Jefferson Awards | Yale Alumni - Yale News - November 30th, 2020
- Medical Education Market Will Hit Big Revenues In Future | Zimmer Biomet Institute, Medical Training College, Harvard Medical School - Murphy's Hockey... - November 30th, 2020
- Immelman, Griebie have mutual admiration for each other - CSB/SJU - November 30th, 2020
- Lobe Sciences Announces Launch of Preclinical Study in Collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - Investing News Network - November 30th, 2020
- Physicians' Role in Addressing Racism in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students - Pager Publications, Inc. - November 30th, 2020
- So You Traveled Over Thanksgiving. Now What? : Coronavirus Updates - NPR - November 30th, 2020
- Safely celebrating the holidays during a pandemic - KHOU.com - November 30th, 2020
- 2020 AAAS Fellows approved by the AAAS Council - Science Magazine - November 30th, 2020
- 5 ways the pandemic may transform medical education - American Medical Association - October 8th, 2020
- Trump doctor Conley degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: What it means - On top of Philly news - Billy Penn - October 8th, 2020
- Students Share Medical School Details You Won't Find Anywhere Else | University of Michigan - Michigan Medicine - October 8th, 2020
- In a First, New England Journal of Medicine Joins Never-Trumpers - The New York Times - October 8th, 2020
- Brown University Medical School Dean to Lead Second Session of Five-Part Virtual Future of Medicine Summit : SF STAT! - South Florida Hospital News - October 8th, 2020
- Human brain dissected live in front of medical school students - The Argus - October 8th, 2020
- After 40 years in medicine, here's what a Maine addiction expert has learned about alcohol, opioids and public health - Bangor Daily News - October 8th, 2020
- Trumps Lying Personal Physician And Dr. Umar Johnson Went To The Same Med School - News One - October 8th, 2020
- Study Finds Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions - UC San Diego Health - October 8th, 2020
- U of M Medical School Researchers Found Traces Of COVID-19 On Beaches - FOX 21 Online - October 8th, 2020
- My Body, Whose Choice? - The Regulatory Review - October 8th, 2020
- American Sign Language and the Power of Communication - Pager Publications, Inc. - October 8th, 2020
- Experimental COVID-19 Treatment Given To President Trump Part of Study At U of M Medical School - FOX 21 Online - October 8th, 2020
- Trump Returns Home After Downplaying Disease, but Doctor Says He Isnt Out of the Woods - The New York Times - October 8th, 2020
- Texas doctor, 28, dies of Covid: 'She wore the same mask for weeks, if not months' - The Guardian - October 8th, 2020
- Nobel awarded to Charles Rice for hepatitis C discoveries at Washington University School of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine -... - October 8th, 2020
- Warrior M.D. Chat: What to Expect - School of Medicine - Wayne State University - The South End - October 8th, 2020
- Hershey Medical Center: Celebrating 50 years of people helping people - Penn State News - October 8th, 2020
- UMass Medical School-affiliated study finds federal rule will negatively impact immigrant health care - Worcester Business Journal - October 1st, 2020
- Medical school class writes own Hippocratic Oath acknowledging racism, Covid-19 deaths and the killing of Breonna Taylor - CNN - October 1st, 2020
- Just what the doctor ordered - Isaac accepted to med school - Jamaica Gleaner - October 1st, 2020
- These medical students just wrote their own Hippocratic oath. Here's what it says. - The Daily Briefing - October 1st, 2020
- Maryland researchers identify what works to help children avoid obesity - WTOP - October 1st, 2020
- Call It What It Is in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students - Pager Publications, Inc. - October 1st, 2020
- Medical Education market seeking excellent growth | Stanford University School of Medicine, GE Healthcare Institute, Zimmer Biomet Institute, Olympus... - October 1st, 2020
- Political newcomer Cameron Webb looks beyond party in 5th District bid - Fauquier Times - October 1st, 2020
- Irregular periods linked to a greater risk of an early death, study suggests - CNN - October 1st, 2020
- This biologist helped trace SARS to bats. Now, he's working to uncover the origins of COVID-19 - Science Magazine - October 1st, 2020
- How This NYC Bill Would Address Harassment And Discrimination In Healthcare - Forbes - October 1st, 2020