TUESDAY, Jan. 12, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — In contrast to common pneumonia, COVID-19 pneumonia spreads like many “wildfires” all through the lungs, researchers say.
This may increasingly clarify why COVID-19 pneumonia lasts longer and causes extra hurt than typical pneumonia, in accordance with the researchers at Northwestern Medication in Chicago.
The analysis staff mentioned that their intention is to make COVID-19 extra like a nasty chilly.
For the research, the staff analyzed immune cells from the lungs of COVID-19 pneumonia sufferers and in contrast them to cells from sufferers with pneumonia attributable to different viruses or micro organism.
Whereas different types of pneumonia quickly infect giant areas of the lungs, COVID-19 begins in quite a few small areas of the lungs. It then makes use of the lungs’ personal immune cells to unfold throughout the lungs over many days and even weeks. That is much like how a number of wildfires unfold by way of a forest, the research authors defined.
As COVID-19 pneumonia slowly strikes by way of the lungs, it leaves broken lung tissue in its wake and contributes to the fever, low blood pressure and organ injury widespread in COVID-19 sufferers, the staff mentioned.
The lengthy period of COVID-19 pneumonia, reasonably than better severity, could also be why it causes extra critical problems than different sorts of pneumonia, in accordance with the research authors. The report was printed on-line Jan. 11 within the journal Nature.
The researchers additionally recognized immune cells — macrophages and T cells — that may very well be vital targets when treating extreme COVID-19 pneumonia. Macrophages sometimes shield the lungs, however may be contaminated by the new coronavirus and assist unfold the an infection by way of the lungs, the staff famous in a Northwestern information launch.
In a medical trial early this yr, the investigators plan to check an experimental drug that targets these immune cells in COVID-19 pneumonia sufferers. The drug reduces the inflammatory response of those immune cells.
“Our objective is to make COVID-19 gentle as an alternative of extreme, making it akin to a nasty chilly,” research co-author Dr. Scott Budinger mentioned within the information launch. He’s chief of pulmonary and significant care medication at Northwestern College Feinberg Faculty of Medication.
Research co-author Dr. Richard Wunderink, professor of pulmonary and significant care medication at Feinberg and medical director of Northwestern Medication’s ICU, added that “this effort actually represents a ‘moonshot’ in COVID-19 analysis.”
The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention has extra on COVID-19.
SOURCE: Northwestern Medication, information launch, Jan. 11, 2021