Scientists from New York University have found that the main cause of death of a patient from coronavirus is the accumulation of particles in the lungs. Thus, this contradicts the versions according to which the patient is killed by concomitant infections or an autoimmune reaction.
In a journal article Nature Microbiology citing the study, it is said that experts have studied bacterial infections that accompany severe forms of coronavirus. As it turned out, microbes rarely play an important role in the development of complications.
To find out, scientists tracked the development of secondary infections in the lungs in more than 580 patients. They were admitted to the NYU clinic in March 2020 in critical condition. As a result, about a quarter of patients died after the disease COVID-19.
In total, the researchers took samples of lung contents from 589 patients who were on mechanical ventilation. Of these, 142 underwent bronchoscopy. They managed to obtain samples of the contents directly from the lower respiratory tract. The experts determined the microbial composition of the samples, and also studied the state of the immune cells.
As it turned out, the main risk factor for patients who had a severe form of COVID-19 was a high concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in the lower respiratory tract. On average, the respiratory tissues of the deceased contained 10 times more viral particles than the lungs of those who subsequently recovered. And the features of the microflora of the lungs had a much weaker effect on the outcome of the disease.
In addition, the body of the deceased produced almost half the amount of immunoglobulins and various forms of antibodies. Scientists have also identified failures that were produced by the adaptive immunity of these patients.
Imran Sulaiman, a professor at New York University, said that if this problem can be identified, it will be possible to create drugs that increase the activity of the immune system when infected with COVID-19.
Earlier, the Minister of Health of Russia Mikhail Murashko said that patients who have had coronavirus for six months remain at a high risk of death. So, a patient who has recovered may develop complications associated with the formation of blood clots, damage to the nervous and cardiovascular systems. According to Murashko, it is very important for those who have recovered to undergo an in-depth medical examination.