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Scientists have found evidence that the new coronavirus infects cells in the mouth

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NIH-funded findings indicate the role of saliva in SARS-CoV-2 infection. An international team of scientists have found evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, infects cells in the mouth. It is well known that the upper respiratory tract and lungs are the major sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection, but the virus can infect cells in other parts of the body such as the digestive system, blood vessels, and kidneys. There is a clue that there is. New research shows the mouth. The possibility of the virus infecting multiple areas of the body may help explain the wide range of symptoms experienced by COVID-19 patients, including oral symptoms such as ageusia, dry mouth, and blisters. In addition, this finding suggests that the mouth may play a role in transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to the lungs or digestive system via viral saliva from infected oral cells. A better understanding of oral involvement will give you insight into strategies for reducing viral infections inside and outside the body. The team was led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“NIH’s full response to the pandemic has allowed researchers at the National Institute of Dental Cranio-Facial Research to quickly pivot their oral biology and medical expertise and answer important questions about COVID-19. “NIDCR Director Rena D’Souza, DDS, MS, Ph.D. “The power of this approach has been demonstrated by the efforts of this scientific team to identify the potential role of the mouth in SARS-CoV-2 infection and infection. This finding provides important knowledge for combating the disease. To explore this possibility, researchers examined the oral tissues of healthy people to identify areas of the mouth that are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vulnerable cells contain RNA instructions to make the “entry proteins” that the virus needs to invade the cell. RNA, two major entry proteins known as the ACE2 receptor and the TMPRSS2 enzyme, was found in specific cells of the salivary glands and in tissues of the oral cavity. In a small portion of salivary glands and gingival (gingival) cells, both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 RNA were expressed in the same cells. This indicates an increase in vulnerabilities because the virus is believed to require both invading proteins to access cells.

“Based on data from our lab, we suspected that at least some of the virus in saliva came from the infected tissue in the mouth itself,” Warner said. “The expression level of the invading factor is similar to the expression level of areas known to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, such as the tissue that lines the nasal cavity of the upper respiratory tract,” Warner said. Stated.

Researchers already know that saliva in patients with COVID-19 may contain high levels of SARS-CoV-2, and saliva testing is with a deep nasal swab to diagnose COVID-19. Studies suggest that it is about as reliable. But what scientists do not completely know is where SARS-CoV-2 in saliva comes from. In people with COVID-19 who have respiratory symptoms, some of the virus in saliva may be due to sputum from the runny nose and lungs. But according to Warner, it may not explain how the virus invades the saliva of people who lack those respiratory symptoms. Published online at Nature Medicine on March 25, 2021, the study found Blake M. Warner, DDS, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Professor, Chief of NIDCR’s Salivary Disorders Unit, and Kevin M. Bird, DDS. , Ph led. .D. At that time, he was an assistant professor at the Adams School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Bird is currently an Anthony R. Volpe researcher at the American Dental Association Science Institute. Dr. NiHuang of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England and Dr. Paola Perez of NIDCR were co-lead authors.

After the team found evidence of oral tissue infections, they wondered if those tissues could be the source of the virus in saliva. This seemed to be the case. In people with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19, cells released into saliva from the mouth were found to contain SARS-CoV-2 RNA and the invasive protein RNA. After confirming that parts of the mouth were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, researchers looked for evidence of infection in oral tissue samples from people with COVID-19. In a sample collected by NIH from a deceased COVID-19 patient, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was present in just over half of the salivary glands tested. In the salivary gland tissue of one of the dead and a living of acute COVID-19, scientists have identified a specific sequence of viral RNA that indicates that the cells are actively making new copies of the virus. Detected. For infectious diseases.

Finally, to investigate the relationship between oral symptoms in saliva and the virus, the team collected saliva from another group of 35 NIH volunteers with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19. Of the 27 people who have experienced symptoms, those with saliva containing the virus are more likely to report loss of taste and smell, and oral infections may underlie the oral symptoms of COVID-19. It suggests that. In summary, the researchers suggest that the results of this study suggest that the mouth through infected oral cells plays a greater role in SARS-CoV-2 infection than previously thought. Stated. To determine if the virus in saliva was infectious, researchers exposed the saliva of eight people with asymptomatic COVID-19 to healthy dish-grown cells. The saliva of two volunteers caused infection of healthy cells, and even asymptomatic individuals could infect others with infectious SARS-CoV-2 through saliva.

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