A New Study Shows that COVID-19 can Directly Infect the Kidneys

Studies show that up to 25% of patients’ COVID-19 cases involve acute kidney injury, equivalent to a heart attack.

Doctors suspect that such infections are a side effect of the immune system’s sudden release of inflammatory proteins, cytokines, to fight SARS-CoV-2. “Cytokine storms” are known to damage tissues and organs.

However, new research shows that SARS-CoV-2 can directly invade human kidney cells, specifically the proximal tubules, which are key gateways in the waste-filtering function of organs.

“We introduced this virus to organoids in the lab, and it substitutes for 11 types of cells found in the kidneys,” said Benjamin Benno-Friedman, associate professor of nephrology at Washington University School of Medicine. “Out of all the cell types, only one was infected.”

The team, led by Friedman and co-lead author Louisa Helms, used SARS-CoV-2 variants that had been modified in the lab with a new fluorescent gene, enabling them to easily identify infected kidney structures.

With the research paper published in JCI Insight, Friedman said the team’s findings mean that clinicians should “consider kidney infections associated with COVID-19 in the same way we think of lung and heart infections, which is to monitor these organs.” In search of weaker jobs in the future.

He continued, “There is a long-term risk of developing chronic kidney disease, so these patients should consider doing laboratory tests three to 12 months after their recovery to ensure that their kidneys are working and stable.”

How do you know if the infection is “Omicron” or “Delta”?
Unfortunately, doctors don’t have a diagnosis to know if some COVID-19 patients are more likely to develop a kidney infection, even though a pre-existing kidney condition may reasonably be a risk factor.

In addition, there are no known drugs to treat kidneys affected by “Covid-19”. Many patients in these circumstances end up with short-term dialysis to provide temporary function for the kidneys until the organs begin to recover from the immediate infection.

In vitro cultures are also a source of help in identifying treatments that help the affected kidneys recover.

“Now that we have an idea of ​​what SARS-CoV-2 does in the kidneys, we’re starting to test different treatments,” Friedman said.

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A New Study Shows that COVID-19 can Directly Infect the Kidneys - /10

Summary

Studies show that up to 25% of patients' COVID-19 cases involve acute kidney injury, equivalent to a heart attack.

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