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Intestinal SARS-CoV-2 infection and the importance of breastfeeding
  • Aline Vasques da Costa,
  • Carolina Purcell Goes,
  • Patricia Gama
Aline Vasques da Costa
Universidade de Sao Paulo
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Carolina Purcell Goes
Universidade de Sao Paulo
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Patricia Gama
Universidade de Sao Paulo
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Abstract

The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) binds to Angiotensin II- Converting-Enzyme (ACE2) on cell membrane, allowing the virus entrance, replication and host commitment. ACE2 is expressed by different cell types, which include the enterocytes in the gut. Such cells are highly active in metabolism, as they internalize molecules to be processed and used by the organism. ACE2 disruption leads to intestinal inflammation and impairs tryptophan absorption by enterocytes. Low tryptophan levels are also associated with intestinal inflammation and decreased synthesis of serotonin, affecting motility. During postnatal development, breastfeeding is the first source of nutrition, and tryptophan is milk component, together with mucin1, growth factors and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA). By reviewing the pathways and effects of SARS-CoV-2 and the gut responses to early weaning, we suggest that it is important to evaluate the benefits of maintaining breastfeeding during SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it might be essential to protect newborns from gastrointestinal-associated disorders.