Nasal Gene Expression of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 in Children and Adults

Study (n=305 aged 4 to 60 years in New York) shows age-dependent expression of ACE2 in nasal epithelium, the first point of contact for SARS-CoV-2 and the human body. Lower ACE2 expression in children relative to adults may help explain why COVID-19 is less prevalent in children.

SPS commentary:

An editorial note that a new study, Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS), funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is designed to prospectively follow 6000 children to determine risk factors for development of COVID-19. These data could help identify whether the lower ACE2 expression identified in this current study correlates with lower rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and could serve to support the possibility that decreasing ACE2 expression in the nasal epithelium may be a potential therapeutic approach to mitigate transmission of COVID-19.


Journal of the American Medical Association

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