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A Nature Communications study led by Professor Ling-Pei Ho’s group in the MRC Translational Immune Discovery Unit (TIDU) provides new insights into how immune cells interact in the lungs of patients with severe COVID-19.

lungs infected with covid 19 in red and green colors

In a damaged lung with a massive cell infiltrate, as seen with severe COVID-19 infection, it can be difficult to figure out which cells are involved in causing lung injury. Understanding this provides a first step to identifying the cells or pathways that can be targeted therapeutically. 

In this paper, the authors used a 35-antibody panel to provide a detailed immune landscape of lung biopsies from patients with fatal COVID-19 infection. Using a bespoke suite of mathematical tools, the authors uncovered a specific association between a highly inflammatory cluster of immature neutrophils, CD8 T-cells and regenerating lung stem cells in the most damaged areas of the lungs.


Read the full story on the Medical Research Council Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine.