Pathophysiology of COVID-19: Mechanisms Underlying Disease Severity and Progression

Authors: Mary Kathryn BohnAlexandra HallLusia SepiashviliBenjamin JungShannon Steele, and Khosrow Adeli


The global epidemiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suggests a wide spectrum of clinical severity, ranging from asymptomatic to fatal. Although the clinical and laboratory characteristics of COVID-19 patients have been well characterized, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying disease severity and progression remain unclear. This review highlights key mechanisms that have been proposed to contribute to COVID-19 progression from viral entry to multisystem organ failure, as well as the central role of the immune response in successful viral clearance or progression to death.

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