A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been recognized as a etiologic agent of a mysterious pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. WHO has named the new disease as COVID-19 and, in addition, has declared it a pandemic. Taxonomically, SARS-CoV2 belongs to the betacoronavirus genus along with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the target receptor for entry into a host cell. The expression of ACE2 in cells of human tissues could indicate a potential risk of recognition by the virus and, therefore, be susceptible to infection. Through some laboratory and bioinformatics techniques, high presence of ACE2 has been seen in type II alveolar epithelial cells of the lung and enterocytes of the small intestine. In oral cavity, mainly presence of ACE2 has been identified in epithelial cells of salivary glands and epithelial cells of tongue. In addition, manifestation of some symptoms, such as dry mouth and amblygeustia, have been reported, which could be related to a SARS-CoV-2 infection in these organs. However, further studies are needed to prove this situation.
KEY WORDS: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, ACE2, oral cavity, infection.
How to cite this article
PASTRIAN, S. G. Presence and expression of ACE2 receptor (Target of SARS-CoV-2) in human tissues and oral cavity. Possible routes infection in oral organs. Int. J. Odontostomat., 14(4):501-507, 2020.