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Scientists publish study results after autopsy of 44 people who died from Covid-19.


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A new study has shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads throughout the body, infiltrating brain tissue and other non-respiratory areas, and can persist there for about eight months.

As part of this study, the researchers wanted to locate and persistence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body. To do this, they opened up the bodies of 44 people who died from Covid-19 and took brain samples from 11 of them.

“In the field, it was thought that SARS-CoV-2 was basically a respiratory virus,” said infectious disease specialist Dr. Daniel Certo of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The researchers are now moving to expand their study, hoping to explore the relationship between highly infected tissues and “lingering Covid.”

Dr. Certo and his colleagues analyzed autopsy tissue samples from 44 people who died from Covid-19 and were not vaccinated.

The researchers also took extensive samples of the nervous system, including the brain, from 11 patients. Tom performed all autopsies between April 2020 and March 2021.

Among patients with a mean age of 62.5 years, 70% are men. The team notes that 61.4% (27) of patients had three or more comorbidities (comorbid conditions or diseases). The median time between onset of Covid-19 symptoms and death was 18.5 days.

The blood plasma of 38 patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, while three tested negative. Plasma was not available for the other three.

Autopsy tissue analysis showed that SARS-CoV-2 primarily infected and damaged the respiratory tract and lung tissue, as expected, but they also found viral RNA in 84 different areas of the body and body fluids, including the brain, adrenal glands, eyes, stomach -intestinal tract, heart and ganglia, lymph. In one case, they were able to isolate the virus more than seven months after the patient first developed symptoms.

They found SARS-CoV-2 RNA and protein in the hypothalamus and cerebellum of one patient and in the spinal cord and basal ganglia of two other patients, although they found little brain tissue damage “despite a large viral load.”

“We have shown virus replication in several non-respiratory sites during the first two weeks after symptom onset,” the researchers said.

According to the team, their methodology sets their study apart from other studies. They explained: “Our focus on short post-mortem periods, a comprehensive standardized approach to tissue collection, pre-fixation of brain dissection, subsequent preservation of tissue in RNA, and rapid freezing of fresh tissue allowed us to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 RNA. levels using high sensitivity.

In addition, they stated that they were able to “isolate the virus in cell culture from several non-respiratory tissues, including the brain, which is a notable difference compared to other studies.”

Finding traces of “Covid-19” throughout the body also helped the team explore the relationship between extensively infected body tissues and the long course of Covid.

The full results of the study are published in the journal Nature.

Source: Express

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