Emerging Viral Infections and the Potential Impact on Hypertension, Cardiovascular Disease, and Kidney Disease.
Viruses are ubiquitous in the environment and continue to have a profound impact on human health and disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted this with impressive morbidity and mortality affecting the world's population. Importantly, the link between viruses and hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease has resulted in a renewed focus and attention on this potential relationship. The virus responsible for COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, has a direct link to one of the major enzymatic regulatory systems connected to blood pressure control and hypertension pathogenesis, the renin-angiotensin system. This is because the entry point for SARS-CoV-2 is the ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) protein. ACE2 is one of the main enzymes responsible for dampening the primary effector peptide Ang II (angiotensin II), metabolizing it to Ang-(1-7). A myriad of clinical questions has since emerged and are covered in this review. Several other viruses have been linked to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and kidney health. Importantly, patients with high-risk apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) alleles are at risk for developing the kidney lesion of collapsing glomerulopathy after viral infection. This review will highlight several emerging viruses and their potential unique tropisms for the kidney and cardiovascular system. We focus on SARS-CoV-2 as this body of literature in regards to cardiovascular disease has advanced significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Savedchuk, S; Raslan, R; Nystrom, S; Sparks, MA
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