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Bioinformatics and system biology approaches to identify the diseasome and comorbidities complexities of SARS-CoV-2 infection with the digestive tract disorders


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), although most commonly demonstrates respiratory symptoms, but there is a growing set of evidence reporting its correlation with the digestive tract and faeces. Interestingly, recent studies have shown the association of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection with gastrointestinal symptoms in infected patients but any sign of respiratory issues. Moreover, some studies have also shown that the presence of live SARS-CoV-2 virus in the faeces of patients with COVID-19. Therefore, the pathophysiology of digestive symptoms associated with COVID-19 has raised a critical need for comprehensive investigative efforts. To address this issue we have developed a bioinformatics pipeline involving a system biological framework to identify the effects of SARS-CoV-2 messenger RNA expression on deciphering its association with digestive symptoms in COVID-19 positive patients. Using two RNA-seq datasets derived from COVID-19 positive patients with celiac (CEL), Crohn's (CRO) and ulcerative colitis (ULC) as digestive disorders, we have found a significant overlap between the sets of differentially expressed genes from SARS-CoV-2 exposed tissue and digestive tract disordered tissues, reporting 7, 22 and 13 such overlapping genes, respectively. Moreover, gene set enrichment analysis, comprehensive analyses of protein-protein interaction network, gene regulatory network, protein-chemical agent interaction network revealed some critical association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and the presence of digestive disorders. The infectome, diseasome and comorbidity analyses also discover the influences of the identified signature genes in other risk factors of SARS-CoV-2 infection to human health. We hope the findings from this pathogenetic analysis may reveal important insights in deciphering the complex interplay between COVID-19 and digestive disorders and underpins its significance in therapeutic development strategy to combat against COVID-19 pandemic.

Type Journal
ISBN 1477-4054 (Electronic) 1467-5463 (Linking)
Authors Nashiry, M. A.; Sumi, S. S.; Sharif Shohan, M. U.; Alyami, S. A.; Azad, A. K. M.; Moni, M. A.
Published Date 2021-11-30
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1093/bib/bbab126
URL link to publisher's version