A new study conducted by a team of researchers using stem cell technology has found that the deadly novel coronavirus, that originated from Wuhan can infect lab-grown cardiac muscle cells. The new finding comes as a shocker for medical experts, as it suggests the possibility of heart cells getting directly infected by coronavirus among patients.
Pre-existing cardiac conditions and coronavirus infection
Even though many coronavirus patients have experienced serious heart problems, the real reason behind this remains unclear. Scientists believe that pre-existing cardiac issues may get worsened as coronavirus attacks the body. Until the new finding, there has been no evidence that substantiates the fact that coronavirus directly affects the heart cells of an individual.
"We not only uncovered that these stem cell-derived heart cells are susceptible to infection by the novel coronavirus, but that the virus can also quickly divide within the heart muscle cells. Even more significant, the infected heart cells showed changes in their ability to beat after 72 hours of infection," said Arun Sharma, PhD, a research fellow at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and the first author of the study, Business Insider reports.
However, researchers, in their study report published in the journal Cell Reports Medicine, stated that there are several limitations in their study, and made it clear that their findings are not a perfect replicate of what is happening in the human body when coronavirus enters the system.
Coronavirus in India and the mutation scare
In India, the number of coronavirus positive cases has crossed 6 lakh, and this pandemic has already claimed the lives of more than 17,800 people. Even though the number of COVID-19 positive cases was very less in India during the initial days of the outbreak, the count has drastically increased over the past few weeks, and the latest statistics reveal that the country is currently in the fourth spot in the coronavirus chaos chart.
In the meantime, a study conducted by researchers at the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou had suggested that coronavirus has already mutated to more than 30 different strains. The study report has made several medical experts believe that finding an overall cure for this pandemic will be difficult due to the prevalence of mutated pathogens in different parts of the world.