New studies have shown that a person’s gut microbiome may play a role in fighting the emerging corona virus infection and preventing severe “Covid-19” symptoms.
According to the study carried by the British “Daily Mail” website, each person has a unique group of bacteria in their gut that play a variety of roles, including in modulating the immune response.
Separate research from South Korea found that those with poor intestinal function are more likely to develop severe “Covid-19” because the lack of healthy microbes makes it easier for the virus to infect cells in the digestive system.
The team from Hong Kong examined the blood, stool and patient records of 100 hospitalized patients with “Covid-19” between February and May 2020, and 27 of these patients also provided samples 30 days after transmission.
The researchers also collected samples from 78 people without “Covid-19” who were participating in the study of the microbiome before the epidemic.
The study concluded that the gut microbiome may be involved in “the magnitude of the severity of Covid-19, possibly by modulating the host’s immune responses.”
The authors found that Covid-19 patients had depleted levels of several gut bacteria known to modulate a person’s immune response.
The study was observational and could not determine whether “Covid-19” alters the gut microbiome, or if a weak microbiome leads to more severe infection.
Academics in the Korea University laboratory of human-microbial interactions analyzed data from various studies that investigated the effect of poor gut health on infection with the Coronavirus.
Dr Hinam Stanley Kim, who led the review, believes there is now strong evidence to support claims that the gut microbiome plays an essential role in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Dr Kim said: ‘There appears to be a clear link between the altered gut microbiome and severe COVID-19.
The gut microbiome is very sensitive and reacts based on a person’s health, diet and environment.
Scientists continue to learn more but it is known that people with underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes have an imbalanced microbiome.