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Smoking upregulates angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptor: A potential adhesion site for Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2


Brake, SJ and Barnsley, KI and Lu, W and McAlinden, KD and Eapen, MS and Sohal, SS, Smoking upregulates angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 receptor: A potential adhesion site for Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9, (3) Article 841. ISSN 2077-0383 (2020) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

DOI: doi:10.3390/jcm9030841


The epicenter of the original outbreak in China has high male smoking rates of around 50%, and early reported death rates have an emphasis on older males, therefore the likelihood of smokers being overrepresented in fatalities is high. In Iran, China, Italy, and South Korea, female smoking rates are much lower than males. Fewer females have contracted the virus. If this analysis is correct, then Indonesia would be expected to begin experiencing high rates of Covid-19 because its male smoking rate is over 60% (Tobacco Atlas). Smokers are vulnerable to respiratory viruses. Smoking can upregulate angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor, the known receptor for both the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the human respiratory coronavirus NL638. This could also be true for new electronic smoking devices such as electronic cigarettes and "heat-not-burn" IQOS devices. ACE2 could be a novel adhesion molecule for SARS-CoV-2 causing Covid-19 and a potential therapeutic target for the prevention of fatal microbial infections, and therefore it should be fast tracked and prioritized for research and investigation. Data on smoking status should be collected on all identified cases of Covid-19.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ACE2 receptor, SARS-CoV-2, Covid-19, smoking, COPD, electronic cigarettes, vaping, heat-not-burn, IQOS
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Cardiovascular medicine and haematology
Research Field:Respiratory diseases
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brake, SJ (Mr Sam Brake)
UTAS Author:Barnsley, KI (Dr Kathryn Barnsley)
UTAS Author:Lu, W (Dr Monica Lu)
UTAS Author:McAlinden, KD (Mr Kielan McAlinden)
UTAS Author:Eapen, MS (Dr Mathew Eapen)
UTAS Author:Sohal, SS (Dr Sukhwinder Sohal)
ID Code:138494
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:289
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2020-04-09
Last Modified:2021-06-23
Downloads:13 View Download Statistics

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