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Disrupted Peyer’s patch microanatomy in COVID-19 including germinal centre atrophy independent of local virus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Silvia Cellone Trevelin, Suzy Pickering, Katrina Todd, Cynthia Bishop, Michael Pitcher, Jose Garrido Mesa, Lucia Montorsi, Filomena Spada, Nedyalko Petrov, Anna Green, Manu Shankar-Hari, Stuart Neil, Jo Spencer

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Immunity- sub specialisation, Mucosal Immunity
Accepted/In press27 Jan 2022


  • Trevelin et al

    Trevelin_et_al.pdf, 23.1 MB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:27 Jan 2022

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

King's Authors


Confirmed SARS-coronavirus-2 infection with gastrointestinal symptoms and changes in microbiota associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity have been previously reported, but the disease impact on the architecture and cellularity of ileal Peyer’s patches (PP) remains unknown. Here we analysed post-mortem tissues from throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of patients who died with COVID-19. When virus was detected by PCR in the GI tract, immunohistochemistry identified virus in epithelium and lamina propria macrophages, but not in lymphoid tissues. Immunohistochemistry and imaging mass cytometry (IMC) analysis of ileal PP revealed depletion of germinal centres (GC), disruption of B cell/T cell zonation and decreased potential B and T cell interaction and lower nuclear density in COVID-19 patients. This occurred independent of the local viral levels. The changes in PP demonstrate that the ability to mount an intestinal immune response is compromised in severe COVID-19, which could contribute to observed dysbiosis.

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