Potential for CoV-2 to be widely distributed in cells throughout the body

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

These two papers are based on analyses from single-cell sequencing datasets and support the idea that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease but an illness that can affect multiple organs.

The links are to a preprint article published on bioRxiv on 21 April 2020 and a related review that shows that other potential target cells also producing ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are common throughout the body – including in the heart, bladder, pancreas, kidney, nose, eyes and brain.

Many are epithelial cells lining the outer surface of organs and the new findings add to an emerging picture of SARS-CoV-2 as a virus that can target cells in many places in the human body, rather than being focused on a particular organ or part of the respiratory tract. 

Receptors for SARS-CoV-2 present in wide variety of human cells.

Baraniuk C. Science. (29 Apr 2020).

Integrated analyses of single-cell atlases reveal age, gender, and smoking status associations with cell type-specific expression of mediators of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and highlights inflammatory programs in putative target cells.

Muus C et al. DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.19.049254. (21 April 2020).

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.