Image_4_Transcriptomic Signatures of Airway Epithelium Infected With SARS-CoV-2: A Balance Between Anti-infection and Virus Load.TIFF
COVID-19 pneumonia requires effective medical therapies. However, it is a challenge to find therapeutic drugs that not only inhibit viral replication, but also inhibit the accompanying cytokine storm and maintain an appropriate immune response. In this study, the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on gene expression in lung epithelial cells from patients with COVID-19 were systematically evaluated with bioinformatics analysis methods. Transcriptome expression specific to bystander (exposed but uninfected) and infected cells were found, and the vital pathways were identified by conducting differentially expressed gene analysis regarding the relationship between gene signatures of COVID-19 infection and disease severity. We found that a high viral load did not necessarily imply a low response of epithelial cells or a poor disease convalescence. The ability to distinguish the role of virus-correlated genes facilitates the development of potential new medicines and therapies for COVID-19 infection.