Study Identifies Which Cells Are Most Susceptible To the Coronavirus But Also Reveals a Baffling Discovery

COVID-19 is taking a scary turn where scientists are finding several abnormal symptoms of the disease. Some who have recovered are contracting the virus again while others are showing mysterious blood clots in their lungs. This is proving to be one of the main causes of death in patients with severe forms of the virus according to reports in leading online dailies. The virus is well on its way to crossing the 2 million mark and now scientists have found something new yet again. Research has yielded valuable information that can identify what types of cells in the human body are most susceptible to a COVID19 infection.

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1Scientists can now pinpoint potential virus targets

Based on the types of proteins produced by cells, scientists can now pinpoint targets for the virus. This reveals what cells will be targeted by the virus. In the first SARS epidemic in 2012, research found that virus named SARS-CoV used two types of proteins to infect cells. One was a protein receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme or ACE 2 that helped the virus bind to cells and another enzyme called TMPRSS2 or Type II transmembrane serine protease that mediated the infection of the cell.

eurekalert.org

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2COVID19 is exploiting the same proteins used by SARS-CoV-1 to latch on to cells in the body

In the initial stages of the ongoing pandemic scientists found that it was these same two proteins that were being exploited by COVID19. This has helped researchers with important clues to find out which cells are most susceptible to be targets of the virus. They also found that it was mostly respiratory and intestinal tissue which were at risk because both express ACE2 and TMPRSS2.

SARS-CoV-1

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3Scientists are in a better position to see how the virus targets the body

According to immunologist Jose Ordovas-Montanes from Boston Children’s Hospital “As soon as we realized that the role of these proteins had been biochemically confirmed we started looking to see where those genes were in our existing datasets. We were really in a good position to start to investigate which are the cells that this virus might actually target.”

Coronavirus testing

Image Source: nature.com

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