A team of researchers found that two types of cells had high levels of the input proteins that COVID-19 uses to enter the human body.
According to specialists, the identification of these cells could explain the high transmission rate of this virus, writes agerpres.ro.
Additionally, research has shown that eye cells and some organs also contain viral penetration proteins.
According to previous studies, samples taken with special swabs from the nose of patients with symptomatic or asymptomatic COVID-19 had higher viral concentrations than those taken from the throat.
The scientists said their findings could have implications for the treatment and prevention of the disease in the future.
Symptoms of Coronavirus Infection
COVID-19, which has killed more than 180,000 lives worldwide, affects the lungs and airways.
Symptoms can be flu-like, including fever, cough, and sore throat, while some people may have no symptoms but can transmit the virus.
In the worst cases, the virus causes pneumonia, which can lead to death.
How COVID-19 spreads
The virus is believed to spread through respiratory droplets eliminated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
Scientists around the world are trying to understand exactly how the virus spreads to help prevent the transmission and development of a vaccine.
Dr Waradon Sungnak, lead author of the study at the Wellcome Sanger Institute: “We found that the ACE2 receptor protein and TMPRSS2 protease that can activate the entry of SARS-CoV-2 are expressed in cells of various organs, including cells on the inner lining of the nose. We then found that mucus-secreting cells and nasal hair cells had the highest levels of both COVID-19 viral proteins of all airway cells, making them the most likely route of infection. initial for this virus “.
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“This is the first time these nasal cells have been associated with COVID-19. Although there are many factors that contribute to the transmission of the virus, our findings are consistent with the rapid viral infection rates observed to date. On the inner surface. of the nose, makes them very accessible to the virus and can also contribute to transmission to other people, “says Dr. Martijn Nawijn of the University of Groningen Medical Center in the Netherlands.
The research was conducted by the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University Medical Center of Groningen, the University of the French Riviera and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and their collaborators, within the Atlas of Human Cells of the Lung Biological Network.
Reported in Nature Medicine, the analysis is part of an international approach that attempts to use data from the human cell atlas to understand infections and diseases.
To find out which cells might be involved in coronavirus transmission, the researchers analyzed several datasets from the Human Cell Atlas of more than twenty different tissues from uninfected people. They sought to find out which individual cells expressed both of the essential input proteins that COVID-19 uses to infect human cells.
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