Explaining lung damage in COVID-19 patients
As opposed to mainstream knowledge about the direct destruction of Lungs during the multiplication of the Covid’19 virus, the journal Nature Communications reported that it actually involves inflammatory processes and the endothelium of the lung.
Since the arrival of coronavirus 18 months ago, researchers have been trying their best to understand it. The disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and is capable of producing massive damage to the lungs causing acute lung failure. It can also cause severe harm to other organs. A group of researchers in berlin have finally identified the target areas of lung damage so that people can have a better insight into the impact of the virus.
How did the researchers find out?
The researchers first identified the therapeutic targets to receive a detailed understanding of how the body is working while dealing with the infection. The data gathered throughout this process involved patients from hospitals, as it is unlikely to take lung tissue samples from patients with mild or moderate disease and pneumonia. Another way to collect samples for data is is the analysis of tissues after the death of Covid’19 patients.
The research team was aided by Prof. Dr. Martin Witzenrath, Deputy Head of Charité’s Department of Infectious Diseases and Respiratory Medicine to receive samples and gain important information concerning disease mechanisms and disease progression.
The second step involved the search for the most appropriate model to study and replicate the findings the lung and Hamsters were observed to be the best.
The importance of Syrian Hamsters as a model :
The Syrian Hamster was particularly chosen after an extreme investigation and analysis. The researchers worked with experts from MDC’s Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB), virologists, and veterinary surgeons from Freie Universität Berlin, plus data experts from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) to explain the infection on the animal model.
Hamsters were selected for the study as they catch identical virus variants as humans, with the inclusion of similar disease symptoms. Thus out the rest species, they can replicate the virus impacts to the lungs accurately.
The research concluded that the destruction of lung tissue observed in critical Covid’19 infections is not a direct consequence of viral propagation inside cells rather a strong inflammatory response.
However, If the condition is severe, blood vessels can become clogged, leading to unstable vessel walls ending in acute lung failure. Although, this is not the case in moderate and mild cases of infection.
This research can help produce more efficient treatments and decrease the deaths due to critical lung damage in Covid’19 patients.
This research also allows more studies into the different types of reactions of the virus with the different species of Hamsters, such as the Roborovski dwarf hamsters that show little impact.