445 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gastrointestinal symptoms and fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA are frequently observed in COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether SARS-CoV-2 replicates in the human intestine and contributes to possible fecal-oral transmission. Here, we report productive infection of SARS-CoV-2 in ACE2+ mature enterocytes in human small intestinal enteroids. Expression of two mucosa-specific serine proteases, TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4, facilitated SARS-CoV-2 spike fusogenic activity and promoted virus entry into host cells. We also demonstrate that viruses released into the intestinal lumen were inactivated by simulated human colonic fluid, and infectious virus was not recovered from the stool specimens of patients with COVID-19. Our results highlight the intestine as a potential site of SARS-CoV-2 replication, which may contribute to local and systemic illness and overall disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabc3582
JournalScience immunology
Volume5
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2020

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