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

Oxford University Press (OUP)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Briefings in Bioinformatics, 2021, 22, (6)
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Abstract 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.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: