For many months now, scientists around the world have been uncovering more and more mysteries about the coronavirus, and now researchers have once again found something new.
A new study has been published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, and shows that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 infection, or commonly referred to as coronavirus, can infect heart cells in a lab dish. This newly developed information has led researchers to believe that it might be possible for patients who are infected with COVID-19 to develop heart conditions as a direct result of their COVID-19 infection.
It has been widely known that many COVID-19 patients have reported heart problems, but the reasons behind those problems have remained unclear as there are many factors to take into account e.g. pre-existing cardiac conditions or inflammation. Arun Sharma, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and first and co-corresponding author of the study said, "We not only uncovered that these stem cell-derived heart cells are susceptible to infection by novel coronavirus, but that the virus can also quickly divide within the heart muscle cells."
Sharma also said, "Even more significant, the infected heart cells showed changes in their ability to beat after 72 hours of infection."
The researchers also found that the human stem cell-derived heart cells infected by SARS-CoV-2 can change their gene expression profile, which further concludes that cells can be actively infected by the virus. If you are interested in reading more about this, check out this link here.
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