12:32 p.m., June 4, 2020
Many questions remain unanswered about the virus that has been holding the world in its breath for months. One of them is: How do the viruses get into the body of sufferers?
A study that has now been published has now come a few steps closer to answering this question. Sars-CoV-2 causes symptoms in most symptomatic patients to develop symptoms that first in the upper and later also in the lower airways.
But what the infectiologists did not know exactly was how the viruses get into the body. About the tissue in the throat or rather about the mucous membranes of the nose?
About nasal mucosa in lungs
Researchers from several universities of North Carolina in an experiment, the virus can now infect cells of the nasal mucosa particularly well and from there its path to the lower respiratory tract.
In order to track the infection pathways, the Scientists the amount of viruses along the upper to lower airways. To do this, they infected different cell cultures with the virus in the laboratory – they compared cells from the nose, bronchi and lungs. As a result, the virus in the cells of the nose became faster and stronger.
The researchers also found that the amount of viruses decreased along the way and that the virus was able to better infect the upper airways.
In the upper airways and the bronchial mucosa, the so-called cilia cells were particularly affected by the infection. This comparatively high infection rate of the nasal mucosa suggests that the virus first infects the cells of the nasal cavity and from there makes its way into the deep areas of the lungs.