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Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6806, 2022 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117247


Our knowledge of the role of the gut microbiome in acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and post-acute COVID-19 is rapidly increasing, whereas little is known regarding the contribution of multi-kingdom microbiota and host-microbial interactions to COVID-19 severity and consequences. Herein, we perform an integrated analysis using 296 fecal metagenomes, 79 fecal metabolomics, viral load in 1378 respiratory tract samples, and clinical features of 133 COVID-19 patients prospectively followed for up to 6 months. Metagenomic-based clustering identifies two robust ecological clusters (hereafter referred to as Clusters 1 and 2), of which Cluster 1 is significantly associated with severe COVID-19 and the development of post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. Significant differences between clusters could be explained by both multi-kingdom ecological drivers (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) and host factors with a good predictive value and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.98. A model combining host and microbial factors could predict the duration of respiratory viral shedding with 82.1% accuracy (error ± 3 days). These results highlight the potential utility of host phenotype and multi-kingdom microbiota profiling as a prognostic tool for patients with COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Humans , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Metagenomics/methods , Feces/microbiology , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
Gut Microbes ; 14(1): 2128603, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2051074


Dysbiosis of gut microbiota is well-described in patients with coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), but the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) reservoir, known as resistome, is less known. Here, we performed longitudinal fecal metagenomic profiling of 142 patients with COVID-19, characterized the dynamics of resistome from diagnosis to 6 months after viral clearance, and reported the impact of antibiotics or probiotics on the ARGs reservoir. Antibiotic-naive patients with COVID-19 showed increased abundance and types, and higher prevalence of ARGs compared with non-COVID-19 controls at baseline. Expansion in resistome was mainly driven by tetracycline, vancomycin, and multidrug-resistant genes and persisted for at least 6 months after clearance of SARS-CoV-2. Patients with expanded resistome exhibited increased prevalence of Klebsiella sp. and post-acute COVID-19 syndrome. Antibiotic treatment resulted in further increased abundance of ARGs whilst oral probiotics (synbiotic formula, SIM01) significantly reduced the ARGs reservoir in the gut microbiota of COVID-19 patients during the acute infection and recovery phase. Collectively, these findings shed new insights on the dynamic of ARGs reservoir in COVID-19 patients and the potential role of microbiota-directed therapies in reducing the burden of accumulated ARGs.

COVID-19 Drug Treatment , COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Probiotics , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , Drug Resistance, Bacterial/genetics , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Humans , Probiotics/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Tetracyclines , Vancomycin , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
Gut ; 70(4): 698-706, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024254


OBJECTIVE: Although COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness, there is mounting evidence suggesting that the GI tract is involved in this disease. We investigated whether the gut microbiome is linked to disease severity in patients with COVID-19, and whether perturbations in microbiome composition, if any, resolve with clearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. METHODS: In this two-hospital cohort study, we obtained blood, stool and patient records from 100 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Serial stool samples were collected from 27 of the 100 patients up to 30 days after clearance of SARS-CoV-2. Gut microbiome compositions were characterised by shotgun sequencing total DNA extracted from stools. Concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers were measured from plasma. RESULTS: Gut microbiome composition was significantly altered in patients with COVID-19 compared with non-COVID-19 individuals irrespective of whether patients had received medication (p<0.01). Several gut commensals with known immunomodulatory potential such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium rectale and bifidobacteria were underrepresented in patients and remained low in samples collected up to 30 days after disease resolution. Moreover, this perturbed composition exhibited stratification with disease severity concordant with elevated concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers such as C reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase. CONCLUSION: Associations between gut microbiota composition, levels of cytokines and inflammatory markers in patients with COVID-19 suggest that the gut microbiome is involved in the magnitude of COVID-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses. Furthermore, the gut microbiota dysbiosis after disease resolution could contribute to persistent symptoms, highlighting a need to understand how gut microorganisms are involved in inflammation and COVID-19.

Bacteria , COVID-19 , Dysbiosis , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/immunology , Bacteria/isolation & purification , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/analysis , DNA, Bacterial/isolation & purification , Dysbiosis/epidemiology , Dysbiosis/etiology , Dysbiosis/immunology , Dysbiosis/virology , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Tract/virology , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index , Transferases/analysis