(STUDY FINDS) -- BRISTOL, United Kingdom — Despite millions of cases and months of research, scientists have had tremendous difficulty pinning down what makes COVID-19 so infectious. Now, a team in the United Kingdom says they’ve made a breakthrough in understanding the virus. Their study has uncovered the interaction between human cells and virus particles which makes the pandemic spread.
Researchers from the University of Bristol reveal SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, recognizes and seeks out a protein called neuropilin-1. This protein is on the surface of human cells and facilitates the infection process.
Scientists have known that SARS-CoV-2 first attacks cells in the lungs or intestinal tract. The virus then uses its “spike” protein to latch on, hijack cells, and force them to replicate more virus particles. Knowing how COVID-19 attacks cells and spreads throughout the body may give researchers the clue they need to block these interactions between COVID-19 and neuropilin-1.
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