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Key nose cells identified as likely COVID-19 virus entry points


Senior Member

Key nose cells identified as likely COVID-19 virus entry points

Human Cell Atlas study could help understand transmission of the virus

April 23, 2020
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Two specific nose cell types have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells, which could help explain the high rate of transmission. The study with Human Cell Atlas Lung Biological Network found cells in the eye and some other organs also contain the viral-entry proteins.

. . .Dr Waradon Sungnak, the first author on the paper from Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: "We found that the receptor protein -- ACE2 -- and the TMPRSS2 protease that can activate SARS-CoV-2 entry are expressed in cells in different organs, including the cells on the inner lining of the nose. We then revealed that mucus-producing goblet cells and ciliated cells in the nose had the highest levels of both these COVID-19 virus proteins, of all cells in the airways. This makes these cells the most likely initial infection route for the virus." . . .

The two key entry proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were also found in cells in the cornea of the eye and in the lining of the intestine. This suggests another possible route of infection via the eye and tear ducts, and also revealed a potential for fecal-oral transmission. . . .

Dr Sarah Teichmann, a senior author from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and co-chair of the HCA Organising Committee, said: "As we're building the Human Cell Atlas it is already being used to understand COVID-19 and identify which of our cells are critical for initial infection and transmission. This information can be used to better understand how coronavirus spreads. Knowing which exact cell types are important for virus transmission also provides a basis for developing potential treatments to reduce the spread of the virus." . . .

SARS-CoV-2 entry factors are highly expressed in nasal epithelial cells together with innate immune genes. Nature Medicine, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-0868-6

FYI - Dr. Nancy Klimas has a Youtube video titled “COVID-19 & MECFS”. At the 2:50 to the 4:50 minute mark of the video she provides several suggestions for trying to keep the virus from attaching itself to the inside cells of the nose (i.e. saline nasal spray and a barrier nasal spray).



Senior Member
[QUOTE="andyguitar, post: 2271198, member: 31665"]Interesting stuff @Wally and also a possibility of it being transmitted by contaminated food perhaps?[/QUOTE]


Mar 17, 2020, 1

The earliest coronavirus cases on the Diamond Princess cruise ship likely spread via workers who prepared food, a new investigation found


April 9, 2020

Food Safety and COVID-19

How Is the Novel Coronavirus That Causes COVID-19 Transmitted? SARS-CoV-2 is primarily transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets that enter the mouth, nose, or eyes by contaminated hands. There is no current evidence that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through food consumption.