A collaborative study of Dutch research groups shows -for the first time- that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is able to infect gut organoids. This reseach was done at the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and Maastricht University. The results were published last Friday in Science.
While the lungs seem to be the predominantly affected organs for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, there was clinical evidence that the human intestine might also be a viral target.
During the study, lead by Hans Clevers, Bart Haagmans, and Peter Peters, researchers exposed human intestinal organoids to both the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 virus. Using various cutting-edge scientific technologies, the researchers show that the virus is able to infect the enterocytes of human intestinal organoids.
At Single Cell Discoveries, we are proud to have been able to assist the researchers with our RNA sequencing services.
Using the gene expression data we generated, the researchers we able to conclude that the current virus (SARS-CoV-2) induces a strong antivirus response in the organoids, proving that the organoids can be used as a model for future COVID-19 research.
Image credit: Joep Beumer. Image copyright: Hubrecht Institute