SARS-CoV-2 Productively Infects Human Gut Enterocytes
Mart M. Lamers,
Jelte van der Vaart,
Tim I. Breugem,
Raimond B.G. Ravelli,
J. Paul van Schayck,
Anna Z. Mykytyn,
Hans Q. Duimel,
Elly van Donselaar,
Helma J.H. Kuijpers,
Willine J. van de Wetering,
Miranda de Graaf,
Peter J Peters,
Bart L. Haagmans,
Posted 25 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.25.060350 (published DOI: 10.1126/science.abc1669)
Posted 25 Apr 2020
COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is an influenza-like disease with a respiratory route of transmission, yet clinical evidence suggests that the intestine may present another viral target organ. Indeed, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is highly expressed on differentiated enterocytes. In human small intestinal organoids, enterocytes were readily infected by SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 as demonstrated by confocal- and electron-microscopy. Consequently, significant titers of infectious viral particles were measured. mRNA expression analysis revealed strong induction of a generic viral response program. We conclude that intestinal epithelium supports SARS-CoV-2 replication. ### Competing Interest Statement H.C. is inventor on multiple patents held by the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences that cover organoid technology. His full disclosure is given at https://www.uu.nl/staff/JCClevers/. There are no patents derived from this work.
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