COVID-19 pneumonia is much more dangerous than pneumonia with bacterial and other viral infections, scientists from Northwestern University in the United States noted.
The study, published in Nature, showed that SARS-CoV-2 does not infect large areas of lung tissue, but penetrates many small areas, after which it captures immune cells in the lungs and uses them to spread, which takes many days or even weeks. In this case, the infection damages tissues and leads to fever, low blood pressure, and disruption of the kidneys, heart, brain, and other organs.
According to the authors of the study, COVID-19 dangerous complications are primarily linked to the long course of the disease, and not with its severity.
During the study, specialists also identified the main targets for drugs that can be used in the COVID-19 pneumonia treatment. These targets turned out to be immune cells such as macrophages and T cells.
Scientists from Northwestern Medicine plan to test an experimental drug in patients with COVID-associated pneumonia in early 2021. The agent should suppress inflammatory reactions associated with the activity of macrophages, and start repair processes in damaged lungs.