As the months go by, scientists learn more about the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. A study published in Nature Medicine shows the evidence that c
orronavirus infects cells in the mouth.
Although it was already known that upper respiratory tract and the lungs are the main sources of infection From SARS-CoV-2, there is now evidence that the virus can infect cells in other parts of the body, such as the digestive system or kidneys.
The ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect multiple areas of the body could help explain the wide range of symptoms that coronavirus patients experience, including those linked to the mouth such as ploss of taste, dry mouth, and blisters.
Furthermore, these findings, published in Nature Medicine, point to the possibility that the mouth plays a role in transmission to the lungs or digestive system, through virus-laden saliva of infected oral cells.
This team of researchers, led by the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the University of North Carolina, points out that the saliva of people infected with Covid-19 can contain high levels of SARS-CoV-2, and studies suggest that saliva tests could be almost as reliable as deep nasal swabs for diagnosis.
However, at the moment scientists do not fully understand where the SARS-CoV-2 in saliva comes from.
The study also raises the possibility that even people without symptoms can transmit SARS-CoV-2 through saliva.