Scientists claim the novel Coronavirus that reach the body through the eyes, after work has found that the eyes contain a protein used to bind to cells by the disease scientifically called SARS-CoV-2.
The new discovery comes from a team of researchers from the School of Medicine at John Hopkins University.
According to the team of scientists led by Lingli Zhou of the Ophthalmology Department, COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 latches in the eyes on ACE-2 receptors as these receptors are known as the ‘gateway’ into cells within the body.
According to the report released on Monday, the ACE-2 receptors are found in the respiratory tract and lungs, where the virus first infiltrates cells, as well as other organs, and the scientists at Johns Hopkins have now found the eyes producing ACE-2, making them a virus target.
The study also indicates that if droplets from the sneeze or cough of an infected individual were to land on the surface of the eye, the virus might start infiltrating cells there explaining why some patients with Coronavirus have had conjunctivitis, which is the eye inflammation.
The scientists also revealed that tears could serve as an infection spread, adding that ten human post-mortem eyes were analyzed by people who did not die of COVID-19 for the expression of ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2).
‘Together, these results indicate that eye surface cells, including conjunctive cells, are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and could therefore serve as an entry portal and as a reservoir for the transmission of this virus from person to person,’ the scientists added.
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