Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Mississippi Medical Center conducted a study and found out how the coronavirus infects cells in the upper respiratory tract, including the nose and throat. This is stated in press releasepublished on MedicalXpress.
It is noted that the image of the spread of the virus in the nasopharynx can predict who will develop a severe form of coronavirus infection.
For the study, specialists took samples of nasal swabs from 35 adults with COVID-19 from April to September 2020. In particular, we are talking about those who had mild symptoms before being seriously ill. The scientists also took swabs from 17 control subjects and six patients who underwent intubation, but they were said to be free from COVID-19.
Thus, each smear contained an average of 562 cells. After the experts sequenced the RNA in each cell, they were able to determine which cells were present in the sample, as well as which cell genes were turned on and off in response to infection. It turned out that the epithelial cells lining the nose and throat are subject to major changes with SARS-CoV-2.
Scientists emphasized that in this case, the number of cells that produce mucus increased. In this case, the ciliated cells that line the airways died.
At the same time, experts came to the conclusion that in people with COVID-19 of mild to moderate severity, epithelial cells showed increased activation of genes that are responsible for antiviral reactions. However, in those who developed severe COVID-19, these cells were noticeably muted.
Earlier in July, scientists from the UK, who studied the effect of coronavirus on the cognitive abilities of people, came to the conclusion that patients with COVID-19 may experience a significant decrease in the level of intelligence. Thus, those who recovered indicated a feeling of “fog” in their heads and often could not cope with logical tasks.
Bioinformatist, senior researcher at the Institute for Information Transmission Problems named after A.A. Kharkevich RAS, member of the RAS commission for combating pseudoscience, Alexander Panchin, in an interview with Izvestia, clarified that the authors of the new work did not answer the question of how the mechanism of cognitive decline in connection with COVID-19 disease works.
Large-scale vaccination against COVID-19 has been taking place in Russia since January 18. The vaccination is given free of charge to everyone. At the moment, four drugs for coronavirus are registered in the country: Sputnik V, Sputnik Light, EpiVacCorona and KoviVak.
All relevant information on the situation with the coronavirus is available on the websites stopcoronavirus.rf and access to all.rf, as well as by the hashtag #WeVeTogether. Coronavirus hotline: 8 (800) 2000-112.