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This week, we are going to look at viral tropism, which is the specificity of vi

by | May 26, 2022 | Biology

 

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This week, we are going to look at viral tropism, which is the specificity of viruses to certain hosts, tissues, and cells. For example, we know that SARS CoV-2 primarily targets cells in the lung and this specificity is due to the fact that the virus recognizes and binds to ACE2 proteins that are expressed on the surface of airway epithelial cells. However, SARS CoV-2 has also been associated with multi-organ dysfunction because ACE2 is expressed by a wide variety of cell types.
Please pick a virus and research its tropism for specific hosts, tissues, or cells. For example, you may want to discuss: the distribution/expression of the relevant cell surface receptor or other factors modulating viral entry, or you may want to focus on the environment in a specific niche that makes it conducive for infection by the virus. You can also choose to research a tangential topic like how tropism is considered in vaccine development.
Examples:
HIV has a tropism for CD4+ cells
Zika virus has a tropism for the mucosal lining of the uterus
Hepatitis B and liver tropism
Influenza virus has a tissue tropism for the mucosal lining of the lung
Research suggests SARS CoV-2 also has a tropism for epithelial cells of the small intestine (hence some COVID-19 patients present with GI illness)
Don’t forget to cite your source(s).

 

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