Although recent studies have described the presence of viral RNA in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid, it is still unclear where the virus enters and how it is distributed in the brain. The researchers said they found SARS-CoV-2 RNA, viral genetic material and proteins in the brain and nasopharynx, adding that healthy virus particles were also found in the nasopharynx. The team also found the SARS-CoV-2 peak protein in certain types of olfactory mucosal cells, where it can use the proximity of endothelial and nerve tissue to enter the brain.
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