Published online Oct 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i39.6590
Peer-review started: March 29, 2021
First decision: June 14, 2021
Revised: June 28, 2021
Accepted: September 19, 2021
Article in press: September 19, 2021
Published online: October 21, 2021
Core Tip: Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is believed to participate in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) dissemination. The current research shows the abundance and co-localization of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane peptidase/serine subfamily member 2 receptors in the lower GIT. Furthermore, about half of coronavirus disease 2019 patients present with GIT symptoms, such as diarrhea, and exhibit viral-shedding in feces. Additionally, in vitro studies have demonstrated the virions capability of infection and replication in the human epithelial cells lining GIT. This paper reviews the possible routes of the virus infection with respect to the host-enzymatic systems responsible for the proteolytic priming of SARS-CoV-2.