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A recent study finds more Coronavirus entry points

CAPE TOWN – A recent study discovered that there may be more entry points for the Coronavirus with data suggesting that the virus is not just a respiratory disease.

Scientists continue discovering new information and data on SARS-CoV-2 as the development of the vaccine is yet to be completed but researchers still do not know the entire range of tissues and cell types that are vulnerable to the unique virus.

Most studies have focused on identifying pathways and genes that facilitate the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into the lungs despite scientific and clinical data discovering a wider range of organs that could be damaged by the virus.

A recent Cornell study had aimed to profile 28 SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus-associated receptors and factors (SCARFs) testing various healthy human tissues in efforts to restrict or help facilitate the infection caused by the virus.

Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cedric Feschotte said: “The data suggest that it’s not just a respiratory disease. It’s much broader than that, and it has the potential to affect many other organs. Our analyses suggest that there is a wide range of cellular vulnerabilities.”


The analysis of the various tissue allowed researchers to discover cells that contained compatible receptors for SARS-CoV-2 leading to anexpression map of the vulnerable organs with the scientists consistently finding within their clinical data that intestinal goblet cells, enterocytes and kidney proximal tubule cells appear vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2.

Other than exposed entry paths to the lungs, they also discovered a possibility of brain infections via astrocytes and pericyte found within the brain.

The study report mentions the most common battleground for coronavirus which is within the nasal epithelium with pro and antiviral factors highly expressed and potentially age-dependant.

The team of researchers found the SCARFs broadly across multiple primate organs, including the testes, placenta and prostate and believe their findings should establish further investigations into the biology and pathology of Coronavirus.


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