Monthly Archives: April 2020

Archive of posts published in the specified Month

Written on Apr, 27, 2020 by in ,

Cytokine Storms is a complex multicellular inflammatory phenomenon. It is a biological consequence of cytokine overproduction in the human body; it is associated with a variety of infectious and noninfectious diseases. In the most severe cases, it is fatal to the patients. 

What is Cytokine Storm?

The word “Cytokine” is derived from Greek words, cell (for cyto) and movement (for kinos or kinin).

“Cytokine Storm” is an overreaction of the human body’s immune system and it can be fatal to the patient. This overreaction is a severe immune reaction where too many pro-inflammatory cytokines are released into the blood in an uncontrolled manner (2).


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Written on Apr, 16, 2020 by in ,

At the beginning of the COVID-19 series (here), we mentioned that we will cover COVID-19’s effects on human kidney cells. In our previous post, we focused on lung cells. In this post, we will focus on COVID-19’s attacks on the kidney. This topic was triggered by a recent study that focused on 26 patients’ autopsies (1).

Many patients with kidney diseases are at higher risks for infections. For example, patients on dialysis can have weaker immune systems; patients with kidney transplants have taken immunosuppressive medications. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, clinicians have also become aware of the damaging effects on the kidney (2). According to an article from the Washington Post recently: “almost half the people hospitalized because of COVID-19 have blood or protein in their urine, indicating early damage to their kidneys” (5). Furthermore, early hospital data showed that 14-30% of ICU patients showed kidney dysfunction; some required dialysis or kidney replacement therapy (5).


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Written on Apr, 12, 2020 by in ,

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) , otherwise known as COVID-19, is an emerging coronavirus that has resulted in more than 1,846,960 reported cases globally (as of April 12, 2020 ) including more than 22,000 deaths in the US (as of April 12, 2020) (3). Although SARS and COVID-19 are similar viruses, COVID-19 appears to be highly efficient in person-to-person transmission and can cause asymptomatic infections. COVID-19 shows a wide range: asymptomatic or mild cases, progressive pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multi-organ failure (which leads to death).

COVID-19 is a novel enveloped RNA beta-corona virus. Viral particles enter healthy human cells through interactions with specific receptor proteins in the host cells. Once entered, viral particles utilize the host cells to ramp up productions of its own protein machinery. This enables the virus to duplicate inside the host. After a period of incubation (Typically 1-5 days for cold/flu; COVID-19 has shown 1-14 days), host immune responses begin to react. The host/patient develops a cough and fever. Patients with underlying conditions may require ventilation equipments to provide oxygen to the lungs and other vital organs such as the kidney.

What are airway cells?


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