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14 january 2021 05:39:49

Susceptibility Factors of Stomach for SARS-CoV-2 and Treatment Implication of Mucosal Protective Agent in COVID-19 (Frontiers in Medicine)

Objectives: This work aims to study the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-infected patients and the susceptibility factors of the stomach for SARS-CoV-2.Materials and Methods: We investigated the SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility by analyzing the expression distribution of viral entry-associated genes, ACE2 and TMPRSS2, in single-cell RNA sequencing data derived from 12 gastric mucosa samples. We also analyzed the epidemiological, demographic, clinical, and laboratory data of 420 cases with SARS-CoV-2-caused coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).Results:ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are specifically expressed in enterocytes which are mainly from gastric mucosa samples with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection history and intestinal metaplasia (IM). A total of 420 patients were surveyed, of which 62 were with and 358 were without GI symptoms. There is a significant difference in average hospital stay (p < 0.001) and cost (p < 0.001) between the two groups. Among 23 hospitalized patients including seven with upper GI symptoms and 16 with lower GI symptoms, six (85.7%) and five (31.3%) had H. pylori infection history, respectively (p = 0.03). Of 18 hospitalized patients with initial upper GI symptoms, none of the eight patients with mucosal protective agent therapy (e.g., sucralfate suspension gel, hydrotalcite tablets) had diarrhea subsequently, whereas six out of 10 patients without mucosal protective agent therapy had diarrhea subsequently (p = 0.01).Conclusion: IM and H. pylori infection history may be susceptibility factors of SARS-CoV-2, and the mucosal protective agent may be useful for the blockade of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from the stomach to the intestine.

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