Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(1):386-408. doi:10.7150/ijbs.65911 This issue

Review

COVID-19: systemic pathology and its implications for therapy

Qi Shen1,2, Jie Li1,2, Zhan Zhang3,4, Shuang Guo5, Qiuhong Wang6, Xiaorui An1,2, Haocai Chang1,2✉

1. MOE Key Laboratory of Laser Life Science & Institute of Laser Life Science, College of Biophotonics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.
2. Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Laser Life Science, College of Biophotonics, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.
3. Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510120, China.
4. Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510120, China.
5. Dermatology Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510091, China.
6. Qilu Cell Therapy Technology Co., Ltd, Jinan 250000, China.

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Citation:
Shen Q, Li J, Zhang Z, Guo S, Wang Q, An X, Chang H. COVID-19: systemic pathology and its implications for therapy. Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(1):386-408. doi:10.7150/ijbs.65911. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v18p0386.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Responding to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been an unexpected and unprecedented global challenge for humanity in this century. During this crisis, specialists from the laboratories and frontline clinical personnel have made great efforts to prevent and treat COVID-19 by revealing the molecular biological characteristics and epidemic characteristics of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, SARS-CoV-2 has severe consequences for public health, including human respiratory system, immune system, blood circulation system, nervous system, motor system, urinary system, reproductive system and digestive system. In the review, we summarize the physiological and pathological damage of SARS-CoV-2 to these systems and its molecular mechanisms followed by clinical manifestation. Concurrently, the prevention and treatment strategies of COVID-19 will be discussed in preclinical and clinical studies. With constantly unfolding and expanding scientific understanding about COVID-19, the updated information can help applied researchers understand the disease to build potential antiviral drugs or vaccines, and formulate creative therapeutic ideas for combating COVID-19 at speed.

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, immune system, nervous system, reproductive system, motor system, immunotherapy