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Rapid response to:


Preventing a covid-19 pandemic

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 28 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m810

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Rapid Response:

Re: Preventing a covid-19 pandemic: are steroids a risk factor?

Dear Editor,

ACE2 Receptor Expression and SARS Coronavirus Infection depends on differentiation of human airway epithelia.
‘Airway epithelial expression of ACE2 is dynamic and associated with cellular differentiation, a finding that may underlie susceptibility to infection.'

Might compounds for example glucocorticoids that affect differentiation of these cells be worth evaluating as a risk factor for Covid-19?

The ACE2 protein is also distributed in other tissues.

Including ‘High expression of ACE2 receptor of 2019-nCoV on the epithelial cells of oral mucosa’

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 March 2020
Jane H Robertson
Experimental Pathology B.Sc. Hons.