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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 427, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795805

ABSTRACT

Abnormal glucose and lipid metabolism in COVID-19 patients were recently reported with unclear mechanism. In this study, we retrospectively investigated a cohort of COVID-19 patients without pre-existing metabolic-related diseases, and found new-onset insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, and decreased HDL-C in these patients. Mechanistically, SARS-CoV-2 infection increased the expression of RE1-silencing transcription factor (REST), which modulated the expression of secreted metabolic factors including myeloperoxidase, apelin, and myostatin at the transcriptional level, resulting in the perturbation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Furthermore, several lipids, including (±)5-HETE, (±)12-HETE, propionic acid, and isobutyric acid were identified as the potential biomarkers of COVID-19-induced metabolic dysregulation, especially in insulin resistance. Taken together, our study revealed insulin resistance as the direct cause of hyperglycemia upon COVID-19, and further illustrated the underlying mechanisms, providing potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19-induced metabolic complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Hyperglycemia/blood , Insulin Resistance , Lipid Metabolism , Lipids/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/complications , Female , Humans , Hyperglycemia/etiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325537

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from faecal samples and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need. Methods: : We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had faecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial faecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the faecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters. Results: : Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in faecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Faecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harboured more stress-, inflammation- and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, Pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age;5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects. Conclusions: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19.

3.
Gastroenterology ; 162(2): 548-561.e4, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with altered gut microbiota composition. Phylogenetic groups of gut bacteria involved in the metabolism of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were depleted in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We aimed to characterize a functional profile of the gut microbiome in patients with COVID-19 before and after disease resolution. METHODS: We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing on fecal samples from 66 antibiotics-naïve patients with COVID-19 and 70 non-COVID-19 controls. Serial fecal samples were collected (at up to 6 times points) during hospitalization and beyond 1 month after discharge. We assessed gut microbial pathways in association with disease severity and blood inflammatory markers. We also determined changes of microbial functions in fecal samples before and after disease resolution and validated these functions using targeted analysis of fecal metabolites. RESULTS: Compared with non-COVID-19 controls, patients with COVID-19 with severe/critical illness showed significant alterations in gut microbiome functionality (P < .001), characterized by impaired capacity of gut microbiome for SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis and enhanced capacity for urea production. Impaired SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis in gut microbiome persisted beyond 30 days after recovery in patients with COVID-19. Targeted analysis of fecal metabolites showed significantly lower fecal concentrations of SCFAs and L-isoleucine in patients with COVID-19 before and after disease resolution. Lack of SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis significantly correlated with disease severity and increased plasma concentrations of CXCL-10, NT- proB-type natriuretic peptide, and C-reactive protein (all P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbiome of patients with COVID-19 displayed impaired capacity for SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis that persisted even after disease resolution. These 2 microbial functions correlated with host immune response underscoring the importance of gut microbial functions in SARS-CoV-2 infection pathogenesis and outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Fatty Acids, Volatile/biosynthesis , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Immunity/physiology , Isoleucine/biosynthesis , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , Case-Control Studies , Feces/microbiology , Female , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
4.
Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics ; 2021 Sep 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1433258

ABSTRACT

Since the outset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the gut microbiome in COVID-19 has garnered substantial interest, given its significant roles in human health and pathophysiology. Accumulating evidence is unveiling that the gut microbiome is broadly altered in COVID-19, including the bacterial microbiome, mycobiome, and virome. Overall, the gut microbial ecological network is significantly weakened and becomes sparse in patients with COVID-19, together with a decrease in gut microbiome diversity. Beyond the existence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the gut microbiome of patients with COVID-19 is also characterized by enrichment of opportunistic bacteria, fungi, and eukaryotic viruses, which are also associated with disease severity and presentation. Meanwhile, a multitude of symbiotic bacteria and bacteriophages are decreased in abundance in patients with COVID-19. Such gut microbiome features persist in a significant subset of patients with COVID-19 even after disease resolution, coinciding with 'long COVID' (also known as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19). The broadly-altered gut microbiome is largely a consequence of SARS-CoV-2infection and its downstream detrimental effects on the systemic host immunity and the gut milieu. The impaired host immunity and distorted gut microbial ecology, particularly loss of low-abundance beneficial bacteria and blooms of opportunistic fungi including Candida, may hinder the reassembly of the gut microbiome post COVID-19. Future investigation is necessary to fully understand the role of the gut microbiome in host immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as the long-term effect of COVID-19 on the gut microbiome in relation to the host health after the pandemic.

5.
Hum Pathol ; 116: 49-62, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309235

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 results in a glucocorticoid responsive form of acute respiratory distress (ARDS)/diffuse alveolar damage (DAD). Herein we compare the immunopathology of lung tissue procured at autopsy in patients dying of SARS-CoV-2 with those dying of DAD prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Autopsy gross and microscopic features stratified by duration of illness in twelve patients who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA, as well as seven patients dying of DAD prior to the COVID-19 pandemic were evaluated with multiplex (5-plex: CD4, CD8, CD68, CD20, AE1/AE3) and SARS-CoV immunohistochemistry to characterize the immunopathologic stages of DAD. We observed a distinctive pseudopalisaded histiocytic hyperplasia interposed between the exudative and proliferative phase of COVID-19 associated DAD, which was most pronounced at the fourth week from symptom onset. Pulmonary macrothrombi were seen predominantly in cases with pseudopalisaded histiocytic hyperplasia and/or proliferative phase DAD. Neither pseudopalisaded histiocytic hyperplasia nor pulmonary macrothrombi was seen in non-COVID-19 DAD cases, whereas microthrombi were common in DAD regardless of etiology. The inflammatory pattern of pseudopalisaded histiocytic hyperplasia may represent the distinctive immunopathology associated with the dexamethasone responsive form of DAD seen in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Histiocytes/pathology , Lung/pathology , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cell Proliferation/physiology , Female , Humans , Hyperplasia/pathology , Male , Middle Aged
6.
Microorganisms ; 9(5)2021 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224072

ABSTRACT

The important role of human gut microbiota in liver diseases has long been recognized as dysbiosis and the translocation of certain microbes from the gut to liver. With the development of high-throughput DNA sequencing, the complexity and integrity of the gut microbiome in the whole spectrum of liver diseases is emerging. Specific patterns of gut microbiota have been identified in liver diseases with different causes, including alcoholic, non-alcoholic, and virus induced liver diseases, or even at different stages, ranging from steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, to hepatocellular carcinoma. At the same time, the mechanism of how microbiota contributes to liver diseases goes beyond the traditional function of the gut-liver axis which could lead to liver injury and inflammation. With the application of proteomics, metabolomics, and modern molecular technologies, more microbial metabolites and the complicated interaction of microbiota with host immunity come into our understanding in the liver pathogenesis. Germ-free animal models serve as a workhorse to test the function of microbiota and their derivatives in liver disease models. Here, we review the current evidence on the relationship between gut microbiota and liver diseases, and the mechanisms underlying this phenotype. In addition to original liver diseases, gut microbiota might also affect liver injury in systemic disorders involving multiple organs, as in the case of COVID-19 at a severe state. A better understanding of the gut microbial contribution to liver diseases might help us better benefit from this guest-host relationship and pave the way for novel therapies.

7.
Microbiome ; 9(1): 91, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183579

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the enveloped RNA virus SARS-CoV-2 primarily affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. SARS-CoV-2 was isolated from fecal samples, and active viral replication was reported in human intestinal cells. The human gut also harbors an enormous amount of resident viruses (collectively known as the virome) that play a role in regulating host immunity and disease pathophysiology. Understanding gut virome perturbation that underlies SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity is an unmet need. METHODS: We enrolled 98 COVID-19 patients with varying disease severity (3 asymptomatic, 53 mild, 34 moderate, 5 severe, 3 critical) and 78 non-COVID-19 controls matched for gender and co-morbidities. All subjects had fecal specimens sampled at inclusion. Blood specimens were collected for COVID-19 patients at admission to test for inflammatory markers and white cell counts. Among COVID-19 cases, 37 (38%) patients had serial fecal samples collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until after discharge. Using shotgun metagenomics sequencing, we sequenced and profiled the fecal RNA and DNA virome. We investigated alterations and longitudinal dynamics of the gut virome in association with disease severity and blood parameters. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 showed underrepresentation of Pepper mild mottle virus (RNA virus) and multiple bacteriophage lineages (DNA viruses) and enrichment of environment-derived eukaryotic DNA viruses in fecal samples, compared to non-COVID-19 subjects. Such gut virome alterations persisted up to 30 days after disease resolution. Fecal virome in SARS-CoV-2 infection harbored more stress-, inflammation-, and virulence-associated gene encoding capacities including those pertaining to bacteriophage integration, DNA repair, and metabolism and virulence associated with their bacterial host. Baseline fecal abundance of 10 virus species (1 RNA virus, pepper chlorotic spot virus, and 9 DNA virus species) inversely correlated with disease COVID-19 severity. These viruses inversely correlated with blood levels of pro-inflammatory proteins, white cells, and neutrophils. Among the 10 COVID-19 severity-associated DNA virus species, 4 showed inverse correlation with age; 5 showed persistent lower abundance both during disease course and after disease resolution relative to non-COVID-19 subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Both enteric RNA and DNA virome in COVID-19 patients were different from non-COVID-19 subjects, which persisted after disease resolution of COVID-19. Gut virome may calibrate host immunity and regulate severity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observation that gut viruses inversely correlated with both severity of COVID-19 and host age may partly explain that older subjects are prone to severe and worse COVID-19 outcomes. Altogether, our data highlight the importance of human gut virome in severity and potentially therapeutics of COVID-19. Video Abstract.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Child, Preschool , DNA , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Humans , RNA , SARS-CoV-2 , Virome
8.
Gastroenterology ; 160(6): 2193-2195, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039657
9.
Gut ; 70(4): 698-706, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024254

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
11.
Gut ; 70(2): 276-284, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-656013

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA was detected in faeces of patients with COVID-19, the activity and infectivity of the virus in the GI tract during disease course is largely unknown. We investigated temporal transcriptional activity of SARS-CoV-2 and its association with longitudinal faecal microbiome alterations in patients with COVID-19. DESIGN: We performed RNA shotgun metagenomics sequencing on serial faecal viral extractions from 15 hospitalised patients with COVID-19. Sequencing coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 genome was quantified. We assessed faecal microbiome composition and microbiome functionality in association with signatures of faecal SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. RESULTS: Seven (46.7%) of 15 patients with COVID-19 had stool positivity for SARS-CoV-2 by viral RNA metagenomic sequencing. Even in the absence of GI manifestations, all seven patients showed strikingly higher coverage (p=0.0261) and density (p=0.0094) of the 3' vs 5' end of SARS-CoV-2 genome in their faecal viral metagenome profile. Faecal viral metagenome of three patients continued to display active viral infection signature (higher 3' vs 5' end coverage) up to 6 days after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from respiratory samples. Faecal samples with signature of high SARS-CoV-2 infectivity had higher abundances of bacterial species Collinsella aerofaciens, Collinsella tanakaei, Streptococcus infantis, Morganella morganii, and higher functional capacity for nucleotide de novo biosynthesis, amino acid biosynthesis and glycolysis, whereas faecal samples with signature of low-to-none SARS-CoV-2 infectivity had higher abundances of short-chain fatty acid producing bacteria, Parabacteroides merdae, Bacteroides stercoris, Alistipes onderdonkii and Lachnospiraceae bacterium 1_1_57FAA. CONCLUSION: This pilot study provides evidence for active and prolonged 'quiescent' GI infection even in the absence of GI manifestations and after recovery from respiratory infection of SARS-CoV-2. Gut microbiota of patients with active SARS-CoV-2 GI infection was characterised by enrichment of opportunistic pathogens, loss of salutary bacteria and increased functional capacity for nucleotide and amino acid biosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Feces/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/diagnosis , Female , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Hospitalization , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pilot Projects , Prospective Studies , Young Adult
12.
Gastroenterology ; 159(4): 1302-1310.e5, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-621434

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects intestinal cells, and might affect the intestinal microbiota. We investigated changes in the fecal fungal microbiomes (mycobiome) of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during hospitalization and on recovery. METHODS: We performed deep shotgun metagenomic sequencing analysis of fecal samples from 30 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, from February 5 through May 12, 2020. Fecal samples were collected 2 to 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until discharge. We compared fecal mycobiome compositions of patients with COVID-19 with those from 9 subjects with community-acquired pneumonia and 30 healthy individuals (controls). We assessed fecal mycobiome profiles throughout time of hospitalization until clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal samples. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 had significant alterations in their fecal mycobiomes compared with controls, characterized by enrichment of Candia albicans and a highly heterogeneous mycobiome configuration, at time of hospitalization. Although fecal mycobiomes of 22 patients with COVID-19 did not differ significantly from those of controls during times of hospitalization, 8 of 30 patients with COVID-19 had continued significant differences in fecal mycobiome composition, through the last sample collected. The diversity of the fecal mycobiome of the last sample collected from patients with COVID-19 was 2.5-fold higher than that of controls (P < .05). Samples collected at all timepoints from patients with COVID-19 had increased proportions of opportunistic fungal pathogens, Candida albicans, Candida auris, and Aspergillus flavus compared with controls. Two respiratory-associated fungal pathogens, A. flavus and Aspergillus niger, were detected in fecal samples from a subset of patients with COVID-19, even after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal samples and resolution of respiratory symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: In a pilot study, we found heterogeneous configurations of the fecal mycobiome, with enrichment of fungal pathogens from the genera Candida and Aspergillus, during hospitalization of 30 patients with COVID-19 compared with controls. Unstable gut mycobiomes and prolonged dysbiosis persisted in a subset of patients with COVID-19 up to 12 days after nasopharyngeal clearance of SARS-CoV-2. Studies are needed to determine whether alterations in intestinal fungi contribute to or result from SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the effects of these changes in disease progression.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Fungi/isolation & purification , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Mycobiome , Pneumonia, Viral/microbiology , Adult , Aged , Aspergillus flavus/genetics , Aspergillus flavus/isolation & purification , Aspergillus niger/genetics , Aspergillus niger/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Candida/genetics , Candida/isolation & purification , Candida albicans/genetics , Candida albicans/isolation & purification , Case-Control Studies , Community-Acquired Infections/microbiology , DNA, Fungal/analysis , Female , Fungi/genetics , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Pneumonia/microbiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
13.
Gastroenterology ; 159(3): 944-955.e8, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324569

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects gastrointestinal tissues, little is known about the roles of gut commensal microbes in susceptibility to and severity of infection. We investigated changes in fecal microbiomes of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection during hospitalization and associations with severity and fecal shedding of virus. METHODS: We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing analyses of fecal samples from 15 patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, from February 5 through March 17, 2020. Fecal samples were collected 2 or 3 times per week from time of hospitalization until discharge; disease was categorized as mild (no radiographic evidence of pneumonia), moderate (pneumonia was present), severe (respiratory rate ≥30/min, or oxygen saturation ≤93% when breathing ambient air), or critical (respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation, shock, or organ failure requiring intensive care). We compared microbiome data with those from 6 subjects with community-acquired pneumonia and 15 healthy individuals (controls). We assessed gut microbiome profiles in association with disease severity and changes in fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 had significant alterations in fecal microbiomes compared with controls, characterized by enrichment of opportunistic pathogens and depletion of beneficial commensals, at time of hospitalization and at all timepoints during hospitalization. Depleted symbionts and gut dysbiosis persisted even after clearance of SARS-CoV-2 (determined from throat swabs) and resolution of respiratory symptoms. The baseline abundance of Coprobacillus, Clostridium ramosum, and Clostridium hathewayi correlated with COVID-19 severity; there was an inverse correlation between abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (an anti-inflammatory bacterium) and disease severity. Over the course of hospitalization, Bacteroides dorei, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, Bacteroides massiliensis, and Bacteroides ovatus, which downregulate expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in murine gut, correlated inversely with SARS-CoV-2 load in fecal samples from patients. CONCLUSIONS: In a pilot study of 15 patients with COVID-19, we found persistent alterations in the fecal microbiome during the time of hospitalization, compared with controls. Fecal microbiota alterations were associated with fecal levels of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 severity. Strategies to alter the intestinal microbiota might reduce disease severity.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/microbiology , Dysbiosis/virology , Feces/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/microbiology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/microbiology , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2
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