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UFMG research shows testicles may serve as ‘viral sanctuary’ for Covid virus | Minas Gerais

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An investigation by the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) points out that human testicles could serve as a “viral sanctuary” for Sars-Cov-2coronavirus that transmits Covid-19.

According to Professor Guilherme Mattos Jardim Costa, from the morphology department of the university’s Institute of Biological Sciences (ICB), the organs end up keeping the virus active because they are not attacked by defense cells, as with the zika and mumps. .

“What we were able to observe is that the virus found in the testicles of the patients analyzed was active even after more than 25 days of hospitalization, which differs from the observation that the virus is no longer detected in approximately 10 days. . We call this a ‘viral sanctuary’ because the testis provides an immunocompromised environment,” the researcher said.

The study began during the second wave of Covid-19 in Belo Horizonte, between January and March 2021. Eleven unvaccinated patients of different ages who died of the severe form of the disease, participated in the survey. The virus was found in everyone’s testicles.

Even with a small number of samples, Professor Guilherme says this is very rich material and few researchers have access to it.

“We did a very precise analysis which gives a solid basis to the study,” he said.

The first results of the survey were published in February on the platform medRxivumfree server for online distribution and archiving of preliminary reports of work not yet certified by peer review and therefore should not yet guide clinical practice. Currently, the item by review in Human Reproduction magazine.

Research also shows that the virus causes changes in the testicleslike fibrosis, death of cells that give rise to sperm and up to 30 times reduction in testosterone level.

“We were able to show that the virus promotes vascular changes that interfere with a signaling cascade, developing a very strong inflammatory response and tissue damage as a result of viral infection,” the professor said.

Now, the study proposes to analyze the effects of Moderate and mild Covid-19 in male sex organs.

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