Mechanisms Underlying SARS-CoV-2 Neuroinvasion Discovered

Henrietta Strickland
January 14, 2021

The FDA has also warned that false negative results can occur with any molecular test for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 if a mutation occurs in the part of the virus's genome assessed by that test.

According to the FDA, three now authorized molecular tests, MesaBiotech Accula, TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit, and Linea COVID-19 Assay Kit, may be impacted by genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2, although the impact does not appear to be significant. The new study was performed using both mouse and human brain tissue, and the results were published recently in the Journal of Experimental Medicine through an article entitled "Neuroinvasion of SARS-CoV-2 in human and mouse brain". For example, they start contracting common cold coronaviruses at around age 3 to 5 and fight them off, building up immunity as they're infected again and again over the years.

SARS-CoV-2 was also able to infect the brains of mice genetically engineered to produce human ACE2, causing dramatic alterations in the brain's blood vessels that could potentially disrupt the organ's oxygen supply, the team said. How long does immunity that prevents pathology last, and how long does immunity that prevents transmission last?

Employing a double antibody sandwich method to detect SARS-COV-2 antigen protein, the new S1 antigen and N antigen assay kits provide a highly sensitive way to determine viral infection status and guide the design of vaccine development.

The other two viruses studied, SARS and MERS, are more deadly, but did not circulate as widely.

Although COVID-19 is considered to primarily be a respiratory disease, SARS-CoV-2 can affect many other organs in the body, including, in some patients, the central nervous system, where the infection is associated with a variety of symptoms ranging from headaches and loss of taste and smell to impaired consciousness, delirium, strokes, and cerebral hemorrhage. "We don't really know what it would be like if someone got one of the other coronaviruses for the first time as an adult, rather than as a child".

Lavine developed the model, together with Bjornstad and Rustom Antia, PhD, Samuel C. Dobbs professor of biology at Emory University and Emory Vaccine Center.

The now available data suggests that reinfection rarely occurs within 90 days of the first (initial) infection.

Without vaccinations, the process could take "anywhere from a few years to a few decades depending on how fast the pathogen spreads", said the scientists, and cause a far-higher rate of death than the intervention of immunizations.

The analysis of the immunological and epidemiological data for these viruses helped the researchers to develop a model to predict the trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 as it becomes endemic, when the virus circulates in the general population.

Another implication is: during the transition to endemicity, that using symptoms only as a surveillance tool to look for infections and curb the virus' spread will become more hard.

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