Saliva May Spread COVID-19
A study published in Nature Medicine demonstrates that saliva may play a role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 throughout the body and from person to person.
A study published in Nature Medicine demonstrates that saliva may play a role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 throughout the body and from person to person. To investigate the role the oral cavity plays in transmitting the novel coronavirus, an international team led by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Adams School of Dentistry and National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified two proteins that SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect human cells.
Reporting in the paper, “SARS-CoV-2 Infection of the Oral Cavity and Saliva,” the investigators found evidence that among those with mild or asymptomatic COVID-19, oral cells that shed into saliva contain RNA for SARS-CoV-2, as well as the proteins the virus uses to enter human cells. The study suggests the virus actually replicates in saliva and oral tissues (not just the lungs), and therefore may be the actual source of the infection as it spreads within the individual, and possibly to others.
From Decisions in Dentistry. June 2021;7(6),10.