Digestive system involvement of novel coronavirus infection: Prevention and control infection from a gastroenterology perspective.
ABSTRACT: An epidemic of an acute respiratory syndrome caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China, now known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), beginning in December 2019, has attracted an intense amount of attention worldwide. As the natural history and variety of clinical presentations of this disease unfolds, extrapulmonary symptoms of COVID-19 have emerged, especially in the digestive system. While the respiratory mode of transmission is well known and is probably the principal mode of transmission of this disease, a possibility of the fecal-oral route of transmission has also emerged in various case series and clinical scenarios. In this review article, we summarize four different aspects in published studies to date: (a) gastrointestinal manifestations of COVID-19; (b) microbiological and virological investigations; (c) the role of fecal-oral transmission; and (d) prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the digestive endoscopy room. A timely understanding of the relationship between the disease and the digestive system and implementing effective preventive measures are of great importance for a favorable outcome of the disease and can help climnicians to mitigate further transmission by taking appropriate measures.
Project description:The novel coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged and is responsible for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 global pandemic. Coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, are strongly associated with respiratory symptoms during infection, but gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain, have been identified in subsets of COVID-19 patients. This article focuses on gastrointestinal symptoms and pathophysiology in COVID-19 disease. Evidence suggests that the gastrointestinal tract could be a viral target for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Not only is the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 highly expressed in the GI tract and is associated with digestive symptoms, but bleeding and inflammation are observed in the intestine of COVID-19 patients. We further systemically summarize the correlation between COVID-19 disease, gastrointestinal symptoms and intestinal microbiota. The potential oral-fecal transmission of COVID-19 was supported by viral RNA and live virus detection in the feces of COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the viral balance in the GI tract could be disordered during SARS-CoV-2 infection which could further impact the homeostasis of the gut microbial flora. Finally, we discuss the clinical and ongoing trials of treatments/therapies, including antiviral drugs, plasma transfusion and immunoglobulins, and diet supplementations for COVID-19. By reviewing the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 virus, and understanding the correlation among COVID-19, inflammation, intestinal microbiota, and lung microbiota, we provide perspective in prevention and control, as well as diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19 disease.
Project description:Obesity, characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation of the adipose tissue, is associated with adverse coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes, yet the underlying mechanism is unknown. To explore whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of adipose tissue contributes to pathogenesis, we evaluated COVID-19 autopsy cases and deeply profiled the response of adipose tissue to SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Overall design: SAT SVC and VAT SVC were isolated from 3 participants, exposed to either SARS-CoV-2 or mock conditions in vitro for 24 hours and analyzed using scRNAseq.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic that has and will continue to affect many pregnant women. Knowledge regarding the risk of vertical transmission is limited. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of nasopharyngeal swabs typically have been used to confirm the diagnosis among infants, but whether the virus can be detected in other biological specimens, and therefore potentially transmitted in other ways, is unknown. Positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR has been reported from feces and urine from adult patients. We hypothesize that the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in infant urine and fecal samples after prenatal COVID-19 exposure is low. We examined the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using RT-PCR in urine and fecal samples among 42 infants born to SARS-CoV-2-infected mothers during different stages of pregnancy. A urine sample was collected from 39 of 42 infants and fecal samples from all 42 infants shortly after birth. Although the majority of the women had the symptomatic disease (85.6%), we were unable to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus from any infant urine or fecal samples. SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in infant urine or feces after maternal infection during pregnancy, providing further evidence for low rates of perinatal transmission. SARS-CoV-2 was not detected in the urine or feces of infants of mothers with COVID-19 during various time points in pregnancy. This study provides further evidence for low rates of perinatal transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Results help to provide guidance on perinatal care practices for infants exposed to COVID-19 in utero.
Project description:<h4>Background & aims</h4>Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by fever and respiratory symptoms, some patients have no or mild symptoms. Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been detected in feces of patients. We investigated gastrointestinal symptoms and shedding of virus into feces of patients with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19.<h4>Methods</h4>We collected data from 46 patients (median age, 26 y; 46% men) with asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 (without fever and pneumonia) and prolonged respiratory shedding of SARS-CoV-2, quarantined from April 4, 2020, through April 24, 2020, in Korea. Respiratory specimens included upper respiratory specimens (nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs) and lower respiratory specimens (sputum), and were collected twice per week. The median interval between COVID-19 diagnosis to the start of fecal sample collection was 37 days (range, 29-41 d); 213 stool specimens were collected from 46 patients. We used real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the respiratory and fecal specimens.<h4>Results</h4>Gastrointestinal manifestations were observed in 16 of the 46 patients (35%); diarrhea was the most common (15%), followed by abdominal pain (11%), dyspepsia (11%), and nausea (2%). Virus RNA was detected in feces from 2 patients without gastrointestinal symptoms (4%). Mean cycle threshold values from the time of quarantine to the time of fecal collection tended to be lower in patients with virus detected in fecal samples than in patients without virus in fecal samples (29.91 vs 33.67 in the first week, 29.47 vs 35.71 in the fifth week, respectively). Shedding of virus into feces persisted until day 50 after diagnosis; fecal samples began to test negative before or at approximately the time that respiratory specimens also began to test negative.<h4>Conclusions</h4>In an analysis of fecal and respiratory specimens from patients with COVID-19 in quarantine in Korea, we found that the gastrointestinal tract could be a route of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 even in patients with asymptomatic or mild disease, with no gastrointestinal symptoms. The viral load of the respiratory specimens appears be related to shedding of the virus into feces in this group of patients.
Project description:In 2020, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused infections worldwide. However, the correlation between the immune infiltration and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility or severity in cancer patients remains to be fully elucidated. ACE2 expressions in normal tissues, cancers and cell lines were comprehensively assessed. Furthermore, we compared ACE2 expression between cancers and matched normal tissues through Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis (GEPIA). In addition, we performed gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) to investigate the related signaling pathways. Finally, the correlations between ACE2 expression and immune infiltration were investigated via Tumor Immune Estimation Resource (TIMER) and GEPIA. We found that ACE2 was predominantly expressed in both adult and fetal tissues from the digestive, urinary and male reproductive tracts; moreover, ACE2 expressions in corresponding cancers were generally higher than that in matched healthy tissues. GSEA showed that various metabolic and immune-related pathways were significantly associated with ACE2 expression across multiple cancer types. Intriguingly, we found that ACE2 expression correlated significantly with immune cell infiltration in both normal and cancer tissues, especially in the stomach and colon. These findings proposed a possible fecal-oral and maternal-fetal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and suggested that cancers of the respiratory, digestive or urinary tracts would be more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Project description:Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), although most commonly demonstrates respiratory symptoms, but there is a growing set of evidence reporting its correlation with the digestive tract and faeces. Interestingly, recent studies have shown the association of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with gastrointestinal symptoms in infected patients but any sign of respiratory issues. Moreover, some studies have also shown that the presence of live SARS-CoV-2 virus in the faeces of patients with COVID-19. Therefore, the pathophysiology of digestive symptoms associated with COVID-19 has raised a critical need for comprehensive investigative efforts. To address this issue we have developed a bioinformatics pipeline involving a system biological framework to identify the effects of SARS-CoV-2 messenger RNA expression on deciphering its association with digestive symptoms in COVID-19 positive patients. Using two RNA-seq datasets derived from COVID-19 positive patients with celiac (CEL), Crohn's (CRO) and ulcerative colitis (ULC) as digestive disorders, we have found a significant overlap between the sets of differentially expressed genes from SARS-CoV-2 exposed tissue and digestive tract disordered tissues, reporting 7, 22 and 13 such overlapping genes, respectively. Moreover, gene set enrichment analysis, comprehensive analyses of protein-protein interaction network, gene regulatory network, protein-chemical agent interaction network revealed some critical association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the presence of digestive disorders. The infectome, diseasome and comorbidity analyses also discover the influences of the identified signature genes in other risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection to human health. We hope the findings from this pathogenetic analysis may reveal important insights in deciphering the complex interplay between COVID-19 and digestive disorders and underpins its significance in therapeutic development strategy to combat against COVID-19 pandemic.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is an emerging novel respiratory infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that rapidly spread worldwide. In addition to lung injury, Covid-19 patients may develop extrapulmonary symptoms, including cardiac, liver, kidney, digestive tract, and neurological injuries. Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 is the major receptor for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells. The specific mechanisms that lead to cell death in different tissues during infection by SARS-CoV-2 remains unknown. Based on data of the previous human coronavirus SARS-CoV together with information about SARS-CoV-2, this review provides a summary of the mechanisms involved in cell death, including apoptosis, autophagy, and necrosis, provoked by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus.
Project description:Patients diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mostly become critically ill around the time of activation of the adaptive immune response. Here, we provide evidence that antibodies play a role in the worsening of disease at the time of seroconversion. We show that early phase severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein-specific IgG in serum of critically ill COVID-19 patients induces hyper-inflammatory responses by human alveolar macrophages. We identified that this excessive inflammatory response is dependent on two antibody features that are specific for patients with severe COVID-19. First, inflammation is driven by high titers of anti-spike IgG, a hallmark of severe disease. Second, we found that anti-spike IgG from patients with severe COVID-19 is intrinsically more pro-inflammatory because of different glycosylation, particularly low fucosylation, of the Fc tail. Notably, low anti-spike IgG fucosylation normalized in a few weeks after initial infection with SARS-CoV-2, indicating that the increased antibody-dependent inflammation mainly occurs at the time of seroconversion. We identified Fcγ Receptor (FcγR) IIa and FcγRIII as the two primary IgG receptors that are responsible for the induction of key COVID-19-associated cytokines such as interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor. In addition, we show that anti-spike IgG-activated macrophages can subsequently break pulmonary endothelial barrier integrity and induce microvascular thrombosis in vitro. Finally, we demonstrate that the hyper-inflammatory response induced by anti-spike IgG can be specifically counteracted by fostamatinib, an FDA- and EMA-approved therapeutic small molecule inhibitor of the kinase, Syk.
Project description:COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), to date, SARS-CoV-2 has already infected more than 91.8 million people worldwide with 1,986,871 deaths. This virus affects mainly the respiratory system, but the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is also a target, meanwhile SARS-CoV-2 was already detected in oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, rectum, and in fecal samples from COVID-19 patients. Prolonged GIT manifestations in COVID-19, mainly the diarrhea, were correlated with decreased richness and diversity of the gut microbiota, immune deregulation and delayed SARS-CoV-2 clearance. So, the bidirectional interactions between the respiratory mucosa and the gut microbiota, known as gut-lung axis, are supposed to be involved in the healthy or pathologic immune responses to SARS-CoV-2. In accordance, the intestinal dysbiosis is associated with increased mortality in other respiratory infections, due to an exacerbated inflammation and decreased regulatory or anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the lungs and in the gut, pointing to this important relationship between both mucosal compartments. Therefore, since the mucous membranes from the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts are affected, in addition to dysbiosis and inflammation, it is plausible to assume that adjunctive therapies based on the modulation of the gut microbiota and re-establishment of eubiosis conditions could be an important therapeutic approach for constraining the harmful consequences of COVID-19. Then, in this review, we summarized studies showing the persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in the gastrointestinal system and the related digestive COVID-19 manifestations, in addition to the literature demonstrating nasopharyngeal, pulmonary and intestinal dysbiosis in COVID-19 patients. Lastly, we showed the potential beneficial role of probiotic administration in other respiratory infections, and discuss the possible role of probiotics as an adjunctive therapy in SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), an RNA virus of the family <i>Coronaviridae</i>, causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an influenza-like disease that chiefly infects the lungs through respiratory transmission. The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, a transmembrane protein in its outer portion, targets angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the binding receptor for the cell entry. As ACE2 is highly expressed in the gut and pulmonary tissues, SARS-CoV-2 infections frequently result in gastrointestinal inflammation, with presentations ordinarily ranging from intestinal cramps to complications with intestinal perforations. However, the evidence detailing successful therapy for gastrointestinal involvement in COVID-19 patients is currently limited. A significant change in fecal microbiomes, namely dysbiosis, was characterized by the enrichment of opportunistic pathogens and the depletion of beneficial commensals and their crucial association to COVID-19 severity has been evidenced. Oral probiotics had been evidenced to improve gut health in achieving homeostasis by exhibiting their antiviral effects via the gut-lung axis. Although numerous commercial probiotics have been effective against coronavirus, their efficacies in treating COVID-19 patients remain debated. In ClinicalTrials.gov, 19 clinical trials regarding the dietary supplement of probiotics, in terms of <i>Lactobacillus</i> and mixtures of <i>Bifidobacteria</i> and <i>Lactobacillus</i>, for treating COVID-19 cases are ongoing. Accordingly, the preventive or therapeutic role of probiotics for COVID-19 patients can be elucidated in the near future.