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Curr Probl Surg ; 58(12): 101087, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966463
Immun Ageing ; 18(1): 40, 2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1636039


We, and others, have suggested that as the SARS-CoV-2 virus may modulate mitochondrial function, good mitochondrial reserve and health could be key in determining disease severity when exposed to this virus, as the immune system itself is dependent on this organelle's function. With the recent publication of a paper showing that long COVID could be associated with the reactivation of the Epstein Barr Virus, which is well known to manipulate mitochondria, we suggest that this could represent a second mitochondrial "whammy" that might support the mitochondrial hypothesis underlying COVID-19 severity and potentially, the occurrence of longer-term symptoms. As mitochondrial function declines with age, this could be an important factor in why older populations are more susceptible. Key factors which ensure optimal mitochondrial health are generally those that ensure healthy ageing, such as a good lifestyle with plenty of physical activity. The ability of viruses to manipulate mitochondrial function is well described, and it is now also thought that for evolutionary reasons, they also manipulate the ageing process. Given that slowing the ageing process could well be linked to better economic outcomes, the link between mitochondrial health, economics, COVID-19 and other viruses, as well as lifestyle, needs to be considered.

Immun Ageing ; 17(1): 33, 2020 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945218


Infection with SARs-COV-2 displays increasing fatality with age and underlying co-morbidity, in particular, with markers of the metabolic syndrome and diabetes, which seems to be associated with a "cytokine storm" and an altered immune response. This suggests that a key contributory factor could be immunosenescence that is both age-related and lifestyle-induced. As the immune system itself is heavily reliant on mitochondrial function, then maintaining a healthy mitochondrial system may play a key role in resisting the virus, both directly, and indirectly by ensuring a good vaccine response. Furthermore, as viruses in general, and quite possibly this new virus, have also evolved to modulate immunometabolism and thus mitochondrial function to ensure their replication, this could further stress cellular bioenergetics. Unlike most sedentary modern humans, one of the natural hosts for the virus, the bat, has to "exercise" regularly to find food, which continually provides a powerful adaptive stimulus to maintain functional muscle and mitochondria. In effect the bat is exposed to regular hormetic stimuli, which could provide clues on how to resist this virus. In this paper we review the data that might support the idea that mitochondrial health, induced by a healthy lifestyle, could be a key factor in resisting the virus, and for those people who are perhaps not in optimal health, treatments that could support mitochondrial function might be pivotal to their long-term recovery.

Curr Probl Surg ; 57(9): 100881, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-842982