Coronavirus can also infect cells in the gut wall – Health Info


The coronavirus can infect the cells in the intestinal wall. It was already known that the corona virus mainly infects the lungs. Now Dutch researchers have determined that the coronavirus can also infect the intestinal wall and multiply here. The researchers from Maastricht University, the Hubrecht Institute and Erasmus MC write this in the scientific journal Science.

In addition to airway problems, a third of patients with Covid-19 experience digestive complaints. Mainly diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are common complaints. The virus can be detected in the stool for days, even after the respiratory symptoms have disappeared. Many researchers wonder whether the virus can also spread through the stool.

Research in mini intestines

The Hubrecht Institute already managed to cultivate a so-called ‘mini intestine’ nine years ago. They infected these mini intestines for the study with Covid-19. This showed that the virus can multiply in these mini intestines. It is not yet known how the virus gets into the intestines. This could happen through food, through the hands after going to the toilet or by swallowing snot.

Digestive complaints due to coronavirus

Research shows that Covid-19 patients with digestive complaints end up in hospital later than patients with only respiratory complaints. The patients with digestive complaints due to Covid-19 stay longer in the hospital. The director of the Maag Liver Bowel Foundation thinks it is important that people realize that digestive complaints can also indicate infection with the virus. The advice is therefore to contact the doctor or general practitioner in good time in case of digestive problems.