The pancreas, a target tissue for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
#Diabetes is a major comorbidity of COVID-19, being a key risk factor for developing severe #COVID19 . Indeed, people with the condition are more likely to die . This is an important fact that our AI-based medical assistant, #AIMedAssist, takes into account to predict the evolution of a patient infected by SARS-CoV-2. The relationship goes even further, since diabetes is not only associated with an increased risk of severe COVID-19, but also new-onset diabetes and associated metabolic complications have been related to patients with COVID-19 .
Why is that?
Recent data indicates that the virus damages the insulin-producing cells in the #pancreas. This revelation comes from an experimental study in miniature in which a pancreas organoid has been established to investigate the effect of the virus on this tissue. The study shows that pancreatic cells are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection, therefore suggesting that the virus might trigger diabetes by damaging these cells in the pancreas .
However, we still need more robust evidence and further physiological platforms to evaluate the contribution of SARS-CoV-2 in the progression towards type 1 or type 2 diabetes in patients infected with the virus.
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