It seems the SARS-CoV-2 virus is planning a coordinated attack on the human body. A new study has revealed another sly symptom of the virus, which might clarify why some COVID19 patients are asymptomatic. Experts have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has the ability to bind to a key protein, which is involved in the pain signaling process. Scientists have been trying to neutralize the virus’s spike protein with the help of vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and other antiviral drugs. Experts have said that pain is a mechanism, which signals that there is something wrong with the body. The COVID19 infection has some symptoms, which involve pain such as headaches and muscle pain. The team of experts has said that the spike protein of the virus acts as a pain reliever, making people feel fine as the pain is suppressed. It explains why some coronavirus positive people show no symptoms of pain.
Scientists from the University of Arizona Health Sciences have said that the SARS-CoV-2 virus obstructs the pain pathway. Experts have told that it might be the reason behind the unrelenting transmission of the virus in the early stages. The data from previous studies show that the spike protein of the virus can attach to neuropilin-1 protein along with the ACE2 receptor, which is used by the virus to infect the cell. Experts have found that a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) binds to neuropilin-1, and this process results in the symptom of pain. When the SARS-CoV-2 virus obstructs the neuropilin-1, the sequence of the process, which results in pain is blocked.
Many experiments have shown that the spike protein connects to neuropilin-1 in the same region where VEGF-A is located. In the study, experts have used VEGF-A to trigger pain in rodents, later they have added the SARS-CoV-2 virus protein. Experts have seen that the spike protein has completely reversed the VEGF-A induced pain signaling process. Scientists have claimed that the new revelation can lead to new findings for pain mitigation in other ailments, which involve chronic pain. Researchers are planning to devise small molecules, which can block neuropilin-1 for pain relief. This study has been published in Pain magazine. Some past studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can restrict the production of interferon as well, which robs off cells’ ability to delay the infection.