Aug, 2021 - By SMI
A team of researchers from University of Fukui, Japan revealed that nasal inflammation could likely influence severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 are the members of the coronavirus family. SARS-CoV-2 is behind the COVID-19 pandemic while SARS-CoV is responsible for causing havoc across parts of Asia in 2003. The transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2 is high with nasal passage being the target of original infection. In the current study, the researchers have found that nasal inflammation may influence COVID-19 infection. Moreover, the nasal passage has larger expression of angiotensin-converting-enzyme 2 (ACE2). ACE2 is a protein which has been widely linked with increasing susceptibility to COVID-19. In this context, it is important to note that both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 have spike protein or S protein that enter human body by binding with ACE2. Moreover, the binding affinity of SARS-CoV-2 S-protein to ACE2 is 10 to 20 times higher than SARS-CoV. Interestingly, one of the recent studies have revealed that COVID-19 patients with rhinosinusitis have lower chances of hospitalization. Rhinosinusitis is the inflammation of the nose and the expression of ACE2 was less in COVID-19 patients. Another study revealed that short chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by gut bacteria have beneficial effects in viral infections. These two separate studies prompted this current study. In this study, the researchers studied the effect of SCFA on the expression of ACE2 in the nasal passage, and the correlation to COVID-19 infection. The researchers studied the levels of ACE2 in the inner lining of the nose in patients with rhinosinusitis. The researchers cultured nasal epithelial cells to understand the effect of SCFA on ACE2.
The researchers found that the nasal mucosa contains the highest ACE2 expression and is a prominent target of original infection. They also found that SCFA had suppressed ACE2 expression in the presence of double stranded RNA. In a nutshell, SCFA has the potential therapeutic applications against COVID-19.
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