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Coronavirus may be able to directly infect heart cells, study suggests

Jul 01, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
A new study suggests that Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes may be able to directly infect the heart cells of a patient with the disease.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, was published in the online journal Cell Reports Medicine on June 18 and sheds light on why many Covid-19 patients suffer cardiac complications such as arrhythmia, heart failure and viral myocarditis, even without underlying heart problems.

A recent autopsy study showed DNA testing revealed the presence of RNA strains of Sars-Cov-2 in the heart.

Instead, the researchers, from Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute, a heart hospital in California, decided to test lab-cultured heart muscle cells using stem cell technology to establish where the cells could be directly infected by the novel coronavirus.

Researchers also found that treatment with an ACE2 antibody - the human enzyme which the virus uses to enter the body - was able to blunt viral replication on the cell-derived heart cells, suggesting the ACE2 receptor could be used by Sars-CoV-2 to enter human heart muscle cells.