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Zool Res ; 42(3): 335-338, 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231642


The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as of 8 May 2021, has surpassed 150 700 000 infections and 3 279 000 deaths worldwide. Evidence indicates that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected on particulate matter (PM), and COVID-19 cases are correlated with levels of air pollutants. However, the mechanisms of PM involvement in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 remain poorly understood. Here, we found that PM exposure increased the expression level of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) in several epithelial cells and increased the adsorption of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Instillation of PM in a hACE2 mouse model significantly increased the expression of ACE2 and Tmprss2 and viral replication in the lungs. Furthermore, PM exacerbated the pulmonary lesions caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in the hACE2 mice. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that PM is an epidemiological factor of COVID-19, emphasizing the necessity of wearing anti-PM masks to cope with this global pandemic.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/chemically induced , COVID-19/immunology , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Adsorption/drug effects , Animals , Disease Susceptibility/chemically induced , Disease Susceptibility/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred Strains , Particulate Matter/chemistry , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects