Technical note on the exploration of COVID-19 in autopsy material

Matthew Phillip Humphries, Victoria Bingham, Fatima Abdullah Sidi, Stephanie Craig, Beatrize Lara, Hesham El-Daly, Nicole O'Doherty, Perry Maxwell, Claire Lewis, Stephen McQuaid, James Lyness, Jacqueline James, David R J Snead, Manuel Salto-Tellez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interrogation of immune response in autopsy material from patients with SARS-CoV-2 is potentially significant. We aim to describe a validated protocol for the exploration of the molecular physiopathology of SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary disease using multiplex immunofluorescence (mIF).The application of validated assays for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in tissues, originally developed in our laboratory in the context of oncology, was used to map the topography and complexity of the adaptive immune response at protein and mRNA levels.SARS-CoV-2 is detectable in situ by protein or mRNA, with a sensitivity that could be in part related to disease stage. In formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded pneumonia material, multiplex immunofluorescent panels are robust, reliable and quantifiable and can detect topographic variations in inflammation related to pathological processes.Clinical autopsies have relevance in understanding diseases of unknown/complex pathophysiology. In particular, autopsy materials are suitable for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 and for the topographic description of the complex tissue-based immune response using mIF.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Pathology
Early online date30 Jan 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 30 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.


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