OREANDA-NEWS. An international team of scientists has found evidence, that the COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2 infects cells in the mouth, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

«Although it is well known, that the upper respiratory tract and lungs are the main hotbed of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There are indications, that the virus can infect cells in other parts of the body, such as the digestive system, blood vessels, kidneys and, as this new research shows, the mouth», the report says.

The multiple pathways of infection appear to explain the wide range of symptoms experienced by COVID-19 patients, including loss of taste, dry mouth, and blistering.

«In the salivary gland tissue of one of the deceased people, as well as a living person with acute COVID-19, scientists found specific viral RNA sequences, that indicated, that the cells were actively making new copies of the virus», the report notes. In addition, it was found, that in people with a mild or asymptomatic form of COVID-19, cells released from the mouth into saliva contain SARS-CoV-2 RNA, as well as RNA for «input» proteins.

Sergei Osminin, an employee of Sechenov University, added that people who had suffered from COVID-19 often came to him with complaints of gastrointestinal disorders, in particular diarrhea and bloating.