Perspective of the Relationship between the Susceptibility to Initial SARS-CoV-2 Infectivity and Optimal Nasal Conditioning of Inhaled Air

Ranjan Ramasamy
2021 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as with the influenza virus, has been shown to spread more rapidly during winter. Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which can follow SARS-CoV-2 infection, disproportionately affects older persons and males as well as people living in temperate zone countries with a tropical ancestry. Recent evidence on the importance of adequately warming and humidifying (conditioning) inhaled air in the nasal cavity for reducing SARS-CoV-2
more » ... infectivity in the upper respiratory tract (URT) is discussed, with particular reference to: (i) the relevance of air-borne SARS-CoV-2 transmission, (ii) the nasal epithelium as the initial site of SARS-CoV-2 infection, (iii) the roles of type 1 and 3 interferons for preventing viral infection of URT epithelial cells, (iv) weaker innate immune responses to respiratory viral infections in URT epithelial cells at suboptimal temperature and humidity, and (v) early innate immune responses in the URT for limiting and eliminating SARS-CoV-2 infections. The available data are consistent with optimal nasal air conditioning reducing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity of the URT and, as a consequence, severe COVID-19. Further studies on SARS-CoV-2 infection rates and viral loads in the nasal cavity and nasopharynx in relation to inhaled air temperature, humidity, age, gender, and genetic background are needed in this context. Face masks used for reducing air-borne virus transmission can also promote better nasal air conditioning in cold weather. Masks can, thereby, minimise SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and are particularly relevant for protecting more vulnerable persons from severe COVID-19.
doi:10.3390/ijms22157919 fatcat:qc5lwokeavfvnpycadeyxb5x24