Published online Feb 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i7.561
Peer-review started: December 11, 2020
First decision: December 27, 2020
Revised: December 28, 2020
Accepted: January 13, 2021
Article in press: January 13, 2021
Published online: February 21, 2021
Although coronavirus (CoV) infection is often characterized by respiratory symptoms, the virus can also result in extrapulmonary symptoms, especially the symptoms related to the digestive system. The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently the world’s most pressing public health threat and has a significant impact on civil societies and the global economy. The occurrence of digestive symptoms in patients with COVID-19 is closely related to the development and prognosis of the disease. Moreover, thus far, there are no specific antiviral drug or vaccine approved for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Therefore, we elaborate on the effects of CoVs on the digestive system and the potential underlying mechanisms.
Core Tip: In this review, it is reported that coronavirus infections can cause a series of digestive diseases, and may also be accompanied by digestive manifestations and abnormal digestive function. Furthermore, the potential mechanisms of coronavirus disease 2019 on the digestive system, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, immune injury, gut microbiota, hypoxemia, and psychological stress, are also discussed. This review provides a new perspective for the prevention and treatment of infections with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and other coronaviruses.