A milestone study on COVID-19 pathology: This cohort autopsy study, defining COVID-19 systemic pathogenesis, was published in Cell Research on June 16, 2021 (Cell Research (2021) 0:1–11; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-021-00523-8). The study was conducted by a team of research clinicians from multiple hospitals and led by Professor Xiu-Wu Bian of Southwest Hospital, one of the top pathologists in China. Singleron’s GEXSCOPE® Single Cell RNAseq Library products were used to analyze various tissue types at single cell level in this study.
Severe COVID-19 disease is a systemic disorder that often leads to multi-organ failure. However, how the virus enters and affects those different organs remains largely unknown. The team did a thorough examination of 26 autopsies of severe COVID-19 cases from four cohorts in Wuhan, China, with classic pathological methods such as tissue staining and RT-PCR, in combination with a single cell RNA sequencing approach. They found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was still present in the lungs and multiple extrapulmonary organs of deceased COVID-19 patients up to 67 days after symptom onset. Single cell sequencing and other methods such as tissue staining and RNAseq enabled the detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus in monocytes, macrophages, and vascular endothelia at blood–air barrier, blood–testis barrier, and filtration barrier in patients with systemic viral distribution. Continuous viral presence and tissue injuries in the lungs and extrapulmonary organs suggest direct viral invasion as a mechanism of pathogenicity in those critically ill patients and shed new lights on possible therapeutic strategies.
The work in this study was performed in Wuhan in 2020. GEXSCOPE® Single Cell RNAseq kit was selected for this important study due to its precision and sensitivity of RNA detection at single cell level, as well as its portable microchip format which does not require a dedicated instrument to process single cells and makes it a practical and effective solution for clinicians (read more: https://www.singleronbio.com/news/?type=detail&id=23). The Singleron team is very proud that our technology and products were able to contribute to this important study on COVID-19.