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SARS-CoV-2 damages cardiac tissue directly, suggests research by German scientists.
A new study, carried out by German molecular biologists and virologists, has confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of penetrating and multiplying in heart cells, causing malfunction of this vital organ.
The negative impact of the new coronavirus on heart of patients is already well known, however scientists have been interested in knowing how the virus affects its operation– Directly infects heart muscle cells or causes inflammation and other disorders in the body that affect the beats of cardiomyocytes, cells of the heart muscle that can contract.
German researchers – led by Professor Goethe University in Frankfurt, Stephanie Dimmeler – have studied both options, al infect with two different strains SARS-CoV-2 individual heart cells and samples of human heart tissue, artificially grown.
What did you find?
During their investigation, the team proved that the new coronavirus can reproduce in cardiomyocytes, despite the fact that these cells practically do not produce the enzyme TMPRSS2, critical for SARS-CoV-2. Instead of this enzyme, the virus uses other types of cardiac cell biomolecules, not yet determined by scientists.
During the experiment, both strains of the coronavirus successfully penetrated all three types of cardiac cell cultures, causing their malfunction and mass death.
The study authors have concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 damages heart tissue directly, which should be taken into account both in the treatment of patients with covid-19 and in the analysis of the possible long-term consequences of the spread of the virus in the population.
It is worth mentioning that the study by German scientists is pending scientific review and was published on the bioRxiv biology preprint server.