SARS-CoV-2 infection and multi-organ system damage: A review

Publication Name

Bosnian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences


The SARS-CoV-2 infection causes COVID-19, which has affected approximately six hundred million people globally as of 8 2022. Organs and cells harboring angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) surface receptors are the primary targets of the virus. However, once it enters the body through the respiratory system, the virus can spread hematogenously to infect other body organs. Therefore, COVID-19 affects many organs, causing severe and long-term complications, even after the disease has ended, thus worsening the quality of life. Although it is known that the respiratory system is most affected by the SARS-CoV-2 infection, many organs/systems are affected in the short and long term. Since the COVID-19 disease simultaneously affects many organs, redesigning diagnostic and therapy policies to fit the damaged organs is strongly recommended. Even though the pathophysiology of many problems the infection causes is unknown, the frequency of COVID-19 cases rises with age and the existence of pre-existing symptoms. This study aims to update our knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 infection and multi-organ dysfunction interaction based on clinical and theoretical evidence. For this purpose, the study comprehensively elucidates the most recent studies on the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on multiple organs and systems, including respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal, nervous, endocrine, reproductive, immune, and parts of the integumentary system. Understanding the range of atypical COVID-19 symptoms could improve disease surveillance, limit transmission, and avoid additional multi-organ-system problems.

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