New studies have shown that a person’s gut microbiome may play a role in fighting Corona virus infection and preventing severe “Covid-19” symptoms.
Each person has a unique set of bacteria in their gut that play a variety of roles, including in modulating the immune response.
Research from the Chinese University of Hong Kong found that people with Covid-19 have a “greatly altered” microbiome composition.
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.
For example, there was evidence of elevated levels of some bacteria, including: Ruminococcus gnavus, Ruminococcus torques, and Bacteroides dorei.
It also has depleted levels of microbes known to aid the immune system, including: Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
Changes in bacterial makeup were continued for at least a month after the virus was removed.
In light of reports that a subset of patients recovering from “Covid-19” suffer from persistent symptoms, such as fatigue, shortness of breath and joint pain, more than 80 days after the appearance of the initial symptoms, we assume that the bacterial imbalance in the gut microbiome can It contributes to immune health problems after “Covid-19”, according to the research paper published in the journal Gut.
Blood samples revealed that this microbial imbalance is also linked to higher levels of cytokines, which are small molecules that are a normal part of the immune response but that can cause harm if not properly regulated.
The severe characteristic of “Covid-19” is that the immune system turns into a state of failure after infection with the Coronavirus, and in severe cases, it attacks healthy cells and tissues.
The so-called “cytokine storm” sees small molecules being pumped out in large quantities as their regulatory system disrupts and continues to wreak havoc.
This can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a potentially fatal condition.
If the patient’s condition deteriorates to this point, it is difficult to intervene, and as a result, preventing cytokine storms has become a central focus of coronavirus drug trials.
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.
However, a separate study by South Korean researchers and published in the journal Mbio, although only recently reviewed, indicates that the latter option is more likely.
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 notes that a dysfunctional gut may exacerbate the severity of the infection because low microbial levels make it easier for the coronavirus to reach the surface of the digestive tract and internal organs.
These organs contain a receptor on their surface called ACE2, and this prominent protein is what the virus hijacks in order to reach the cell. It is found in high amounts in the lungs and respiratory system as well as in the digestive system.
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.
After the elderly are more likely to die from “Covid-19”, and the CDC says in the United States that those over the age of 85 years are 630 times more likely to die from “Covid-19” infection than a person between the ages of 18 and 29 According to Dr. Kim, many of them often suffer from impaired functioning microbiomes.
Source: Daily Mail