COVID-19 infects the mouth. Could that explain patients’ taste loss?

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can infect cells in the mouth, which may spur the virus’s spread both in the body and to other people, according to a preliminary study.

In the new study, posted Oct. 27 to the preprint database medRxiv, researchers predicted which mouth tissues might be most vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. So the team examined RNA — a kind of genetic material that tells the cells’ protein-making factories what to build — for different cell types in the mouth. They found that, compared with other oral tissues, cells of the salivary glands, tongue and tonsils carry the most RNA linked to proteins that the coronavirus needs to infect cells. Namely, these include the ACE2 receptor, which the virus plugs into, and an enzyme called TMPRSS, which allows the virus to fuse its membrane with that of the host cell and slip inside.

Source link

#COVID19 #infects #mouth #explain #patients #taste #loss