The researchers claim that the changes in the genes may be responsible for long haul Covid-19 symptoms. Notably, the study mention that the spike proteins on the novel Covid-19 infection shall change the gene expressions after they infect healthy cells. Thus, the researchers state that this study, if verified, can set to be an important step in better understanding long haul symptoms.
New research now suggests that the novel coronavirus infection may lead to long-term gene expression changes in otherwise healthy cells. The study suggests that some people experience symptoms long, even after clearing the infection.
Nicholas Evans is a Master’s student working in the laboratory of Sharilyn Almodovar at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He made a statement saying ,“We found that exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone was enough to change baseline gene expression in airway cells.” He further, explains that this suggests that symptoms seen in patients may initially result from the spike protein interacting with the cells directly.
The research has not been yet peer-reviewed or published. Mr. Evans presented this at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology‘s annual meeting, few days back.
The Covid-19 virus that causes infection has covered in tiny spike proteins that bind with receptors on cells. This, initiating a process that permits the virus and releases its genetic material into healthy cells. The ability of the the virus to mutate rapidly is problematic. This is similar to the ability of influenza to mutate.
The Texas Tech experts say that they have found the cultured human airway cells exposed to high and low concentrations of purified spike protein showed differences in gene expression that remained even after cells recovered. The top genes involved ones related to the inflammatory response.
Evans said that Our work helps to elucidate changes occurring in patients on the genetic level, which could eventually provide insight into which treatments would work best for specific patients.