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1.
Gut Microbes ; 14(1): 2031840, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692369

ABSTRACT

There is a growing debate about the involvement of the gut microbiome in COVID-19, although it is not conclusively understood whether the microbiome has an impact on COVID-19, or vice versa, especially as analysis of amplicon data in hospitalized patients requires sophisticated cohort recruitment and integration of clinical parameters. Here, we analyzed fecal and saliva samples from SARS-CoV-2 infected and post COVID-19 patients and controls considering multiple influencing factors during hospitalization. 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed on fecal and saliva samples from 108 COVID-19 and 22 post COVID-19 patients, 20 pneumonia controls and 26 asymptomatic controls. Patients were recruited over the first and second corona wave in Germany and detailed clinical parameters were considered. Serial samples per individual allowed intra-individual analysis. We found the gut and oral microbiota to be altered depending on number and type of COVID-19-associated complications and disease severity. The occurrence of individual complications was correlated with low-risk (e.g., Faecalibacterium prausznitzii) and high-risk bacteria (e.g., Parabacteroides ssp.). We demonstrated that a stable gut bacterial composition was associated with a favorable disease progression. Based on gut microbial profiles, we identified a model to estimate mortality in COVID-19. Gut microbiota are associated with the occurrence of complications in COVID-19 and may thereby influencing disease severity. A stable gut microbial composition may contribute to a favorable disease progression and using bacterial signatures to estimate mortality could contribute to diagnostic approaches. Importantly, we highlight challenges in the analysis of microbial data in the context of hospitalization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Aged , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/mortality , Disease Progression , Dysbiosis/etiology , Feces/microbiology , Female , Humans , Male , Microbiota , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/microbiology , Severity of Illness Index
2.
J Affect Disord ; 303: 187-195, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676788

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The microbiota-gut-brain axis is a key pathway perturbed by prolonged stressors to produce brain and behavioral disorders. Frontline healthcare workers (FHWs) fighting against COVID-19 typically experience stressful event sequences and manifest some mental symptoms; however, the role of gut microbiota in such stress-induced mental problems remains unclear. We investigated the association between the psychological stress of FHW and gut microbiota. METHODS: We used full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing to characterize the longitudinal changes in gut microbiota and investigated the impact of microbial changes on FHWs' mental status. RESULTS: Stressful events induced significant depression, anxiety, and stress in FHWs and disrupted the gut microbiome; gut dysbiosis persisted for at least half a year. Different microbes followed discrete trajectories during the half-year of follow-up. Microbes associated with mental health were mainly Faecalibacterium spp. and [Eubacterium] eligens group spp. with anti-inflammatory effects. Of note, the prediction model indicated that low abundance of [Eubacterium] hallii group uncultured bacterium and high abundance of Bacteroides eggerthii at Day 0 (immediately after the two-month frontline work) were significant determinants of the reappearance of post-traumatic stress symptoms in FHWs. LIMITATIONS: The lack of metabolomic evidence and animal experiments result in the unclear mechanism of gut dysbiosis-related stress symptoms. CONCLUSION: The stressful event sequences of fighting against COVID-19 induce characteristic longitudinal changes in gut microbiota, which underlies dynamic mental state changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Animals , Dysbiosis/epidemiology , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Health Personnel , Humans , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
3.
N Engl J Med ; 386(3): 220-229, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632249

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Current therapies for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection do not address the disrupted microbiome, which supports C. difficile spore germination into toxin-producing bacteria. SER-109 is an investigational microbiome therapeutic composed of purified Firmicutes spores for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection. METHODS: We conducted a phase 3, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in which patients who had had three or more episodes of C. difficile infection (inclusive of the qualifying acute episode) received SER-109 or placebo (four capsules daily for 3 days) after standard-of-care antibiotic treatment. The primary efficacy objective was to show superiority of SER-109 as compared with placebo in reducing the risk of C. difficile infection recurrence up to 8 weeks after treatment. Diagnosis by toxin testing was performed at trial entry, and randomization was stratified according to age and antibiotic agent received. Analyses of safety, microbiome engraftment, and metabolites were also performed. RESULTS: Among the 281 patients screened, 182 were enrolled. The percentage of patients with recurrence of C. difficile infection was 12% in the SER-109 group and 40% in the placebo group (relative risk, 0.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.18 to 0.58; P<0.001 for a relative risk of <1.0; P<0.001 for a relative risk of <0.833). SER-109 led to less frequent recurrence than placebo in analyses stratified according to age stratum (relative risk, 0.24 [95% CI, 0.07 to 0.78] for patients <65 years of age and 0.36 [95% CI, 0.18 to 0.72] for those ≥65 years) and antibiotic received (relative risk, 0.41 [95% CI, 0.22 to 0.79] with vancomycin and 0.09 [95% CI, 0.01 to 0.63] with fidaxomicin). Most adverse events were mild to moderate and were gastrointestinal in nature, with similar numbers in the two groups. SER-109 dose species were detected as early as week 1 and were associated with bile-acid profiles that are known to inhibit C. difficile spore germination. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with symptom resolution of C. difficile infection after treatment with standard-of-care antibiotics, oral administration of SER-109 was superior to placebo in reducing the risk of recurrent infection. The observed safety profile of SER-109 was similar to that of placebo. (Funded by Seres Therapeutics; ECOSPOR III ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03183128.).


Subject(s)
Clostridioides difficile , Clostridium Infections/therapy , Firmicutes , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Feces/microbiology , Female , Gastrointestinal Tract/microbiology , Humans , Intention to Treat Analysis , Male , Microbiota/drug effects , Middle Aged , Recurrence , Secondary Prevention , Spores, Bacterial
4.
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
5.
BMC Microbiol ; 21(1): 277, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463230

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Fusobacterium nucleatum (F. n) is an important opportunistic pathogen causing oral and gastrointestinal disease. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (F. p) is a next-generation probiotic and could serve as a biomarker of gut eubiosis/dysbiosis to some extent. Alterations in the human oral and gut microbiomes are associated with viral respiratory infection. The aim of this study was to characterise the oral and fecal bacterial biomarker (i.e., F. n and F. p) in COVID-19 patients by qPCR and investigate the pharyngeal microbiome of COVID-19 patients through metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS). RESULTS: Pharyngeal F. n was significantly increased in COVID-19 patients, and it was higher in male than female patients. Increased abundance of pharyngeal F. n was associated with a higher risk of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test (adjusted OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.06 ~ 1.65, P < 0.05). A classifier to distinguish COVID-19 patients from the healthy controls based on the pharyngeal F. n was constructed and achieved an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.843 (95% CI = 0.688 ~ 0.940, P < 0.001). However, the level of fecal F. n and fecal F. p remained unaltered between groups. Besides, mNGS showed that the pharyngeal swabs of COVID-19 patients were dominated by opportunistic pathogens. CONCLUSIONS: Pharyngeal but not fecal F. n was significantly increased in COVID-19 patients, clinicians should pay careful attention to potential coinfection. Pharyngeal F. n may serve as a promising candidate indicator for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Fusobacterium Infections/microbiology , Fusobacterium nucleatum/genetics , Pharynx/microbiology , Adult , Biomarkers/analysis , COVID-19/virology , Carrier State/microbiology , Coinfection/microbiology , Coinfection/virology , Dysbiosis , Female , Fusobacterium Infections/virology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Microbiota , Middle Aged , Pharynx/virology , Sex Factors
6.
United European Gastroenterol J ; 9(9): 1027-1038, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460274

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With increasing number of clinical trials relating to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), it is crucial to identify and recruit long-term, healthy, and regular fecal donors. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to report the outcomes of screening and recruitment of fecal donors for FMT. METHODS: Potential donors were recruited via advertisement through internal mass emails at a university. They were required to undergo a pre-screening telephone interview, a detailed questionnaire, followed by blood and stool investigations. RESULTS: From January 2017 to December 2020, 119 potential donors were assessed with 75 failed pre-screening. Reasons for failure included: inability to come back for regular and long-term donation (n = 19), high body mass index (n = 17), underlying chronic illness or on long-term medications (n = 11), being healthcare professionals (n = 10), use of antibiotics within 3 months (n = 5) and others (n = 13). Forty-four donors completed questionnaires and 11 did not fulfill the clinical criteria. Of the remaining 33 potential donors who had stool and blood tests, 21 failed stool investigations (19 extended-spectrum beta-lactamase [ESBL] organisms, one Clostridioides difficile, one C. difficile plus Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), one failed blood tests (high serum alkaline phosphatase level), one required long-term medication and nine withdrew consent and/or lost to follow-up. In total, only one out of 119 (0.8%) potential donors was successfully recruited as a regular donor. CONCLUSION: There was a high failure rate in donor screening for FMT. Main reasons for screening failure included high prevalence of positive ESBL organisms in stool and failed commitment to regular stool donation.


Subject(s)
Donor Selection , Fecal Microbiota Transplantation , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 , Feces/microbiology , Female , Hong Kong , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Prevalence , Young Adult , beta-Lactamases
7.
Biomed Res Int ; 2021: 7880448, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455779

ABSTRACT

COVID-19-associated neuropsychiatric complications are soaring. There is an urgent need to understand the link between COVID-19 and neuropsychiatric disorders. To that end, this article addresses the premise that SARS-CoV-2 infection results in gut dysbiosis and an altered microbiota-gut-brain (MGB) axis that in turn contributes to the neuropsychiatric ramifications of COVID-19. Altered MGB axis activity has been implicated independently as a risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. A review of the changes in gut microbiota composition in individual psychiatric and neurological disorders and gut microbiota in COVID-19 patients revealed a shared "microbial signature" characterized by a lower microbial diversity and richness and a decrease in health-promoting anti-inflammatory commensal bacteria accompanied by an increase in opportunistic proinflammatory pathogens. Notably, there was a decrease in short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) producing bacteria. SCFAs are key bioactive microbial metabolites with anti-inflammatory functions and have been recognized as a critical signaling pathway in the MGB axis. SCFA deficiency is associated with brain inflammation, considered a cardinal feature of neuropsychiatric disorders. The link between SARS-CoV-2 infection, gut dysbiosis, and altered MGB axis is further supported by COVID-19-associated gastrointestinal symptoms, a high number of SARS-CoV-2 receptors, angiotensin-cleaving enzyme-2 (ACE-2) in the gut, and viral presence in the fecal matter. The binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the receptor results in ACE-2 deficiency that leads to decreased transport of vital dietary components, gut dysbiosis, proinflammatory gut status, increased permeability of the gut-blood barrier (GBB), and systemic inflammation. More clinical research is needed to substantiate further the linkages described above and evaluate the potential significance of gut microbiota as a diagnostic tool. Meanwhile, it is prudent to propose changes in dietary recommendations in favor of a high fiber diet or supplementation with SCFAs or probiotics to prevent or alleviate the neuropsychiatric ramifications of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Fatty Acids, Volatile/metabolism , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/physiology , Bacteria/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/microbiology , COVID-19/virology , Diet , Dysbiosis , Feces/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/immunology , Humans , Inflammation , Probiotics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
8.
J Microbiol ; 59(10): 941-948, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432635

ABSTRACT

Several follow-up studies have found that COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) patients had persistent symptoms after discharge. Gut microbiota play an important role in human health and immune responses. Therefore, this study investigated the gut microbiota of recovered COVID-19 patients and the correlations between gut microbiota and persistent symptoms after discharge. Stool samples were collected from 15 recovered healthcare workers (HCWs) with COVID-19 at three months after discharge, in addition, stool samples were collected from 14 healthy controls (HCs) to perform 16S rRNA gene sequencing between May and July 2020. Compared with HCs, recovered HCWs had reduced bacterial diversity at three months after discharge, with a significantly higher relative abundance of opportunistic pathogens, and a significantly lower relative abundance of beneficial bacteria. In addition, Escherichia unclassified was positively correlated with persistent symptoms at three months after discharge, including fatigue (r = 0.567, p = 0.028), chest tightness after activity (r = 0.687, p = 0.005), and myalgia (r = 0.523, p = 0.045). Intestinibacter bartlettii was positively correlated with anorexia (r = 0.629, p = 0.012) and fatigue (r = 0.545, p = 0.036). However, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii was negatively correlated with chest tightness after activity (r = -0.591, p = 0.02), and Intestinimonas butyriciproducens was negatively correlated with cough (r = -0.635, p = 0.011). In conclusion, the gut microbiota of recovered HCWs with COVID-19 at three months after discharge was different from that of HCs, and altered gut microbiota was correlated with persistent symptoms after discharge, highlighting that gut microbiota may play an important role in the recovery of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Adult , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Fatigue/etiology , Fatigue/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Myalgia/etiology , Myalgia/microbiology , Patient Discharge , Phylogeny , Survivors/statistics & numerical data
9.
Br J Radiol ; 94(1127): 20210607, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430509

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of aerosol spread of infection. We have conducted a study to detect bacterial contamination of room surfaces and room air during CT colonography and confirm the efficacy of room disinfection procedures carried out between examinations. METHODS: Systematic sampling of the CT examination couch and horizontal surfaces 1 m and 3 m from the couch was performed before and after patient examinations. A 1 m3 sample of room air was obtained during patient examinations. Samples were processed using routine laboratory methods. A case-control study design was used (30 CT colonography and 30 routine body CT scans). RESULTS: Evidence of airborne dissemination of bacteria was detected in >30% of CT colonography examinations and <10% of control examinations (p = 0.01). No pathogenic bacteria were detected in surface samples taken before patient examinations. CONCLUSION: The room disinfection policy in use in our CT department is effective in eliminating pathogenic bacteria from surfaces in the patient environment. CT colonography causes contamination of room air with enteric bacteria in a significant proportion of cases. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: CT colonography may possibly be an aerosol-generating procedure. Larger-scale investigation is needed to fully evaluate this potential infection risk.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants/isolation & purification , Colonography, Computed Tomographic/methods , Disinfection/methods , Enterobacteriaceae/isolation & purification , Equipment Contamination/statistics & numerical data , Feces/microbiology , Aerosols , Case-Control Studies , Humans , United Kingdom
11.
NPJ Biofilms Microbiomes ; 7(1): 61, 2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322476

ABSTRACT

The human oral and gut commensal microbes play vital roles in the development and maintenance of immune homeostasis, while its association with susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection is barely understood. In this study, we investigated the dynamics of the oral and intestinal flora before and after the clearance of SARS-CoV-2 in 53 COVID-19 patients, and then examined their microbiome alterations in comparison to 76 healthy individuals. A total of 140 throat swab samples and 81 fecal samples from these COVID-19 patients during hospitalization, and 44 throat swab samples and 32 fecal samples from sex and age-matched healthy individuals were collected and then subjected to 16S rRNA sequencing and viral load inspection. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with alterations of the microbiome community in patients as indicated by both alpha and beta diversity indexes. Several bacterial taxa were identified related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, wherein elevated Granulicatella and Rothia mucilaginosa were found in both oral and gut microbiome. The SARS-CoV-2 viral load in those samples was also calculated to identify potential dynamics between COVID-19 and the microbiome. These findings provide a meaningful baseline for microbes in the digestive tract of COVID-19 patients and will shed light on new dimensions for disease pathophysiology, potential microbial biomarkers, and treatment strategies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Feces/microbiology , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Mouth/microbiology , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
12.
Future Microbiol ; 16(11): 769-776, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1308246

ABSTRACT

The current study presents two patients who lived in a rural family with close contact and suffered from rapidly progressive pneumonia. Chest computed tomography images and lymphocytopenia indicated the possibility of COVID-19 infection, but antibody and nucleic acid tests excluded this possibility. Negative results were obtained from corresponding tests for pneumococcal, adenovirus, fungal and legionella infection. Metagenomics analysis and subsequent antibody tests confirmed mycoplasma pneumonia. After treating with moxifloxacin, both patients recovered well and left the hospital. In terms of complicated infectious disease, consideration of atypical pathogens and medical and epidemiological history were important for differential diagnosis of COVID-19; metagenomics analysis was useful to provide direct references for diagnosis.


Subject(s)
Moxifloxacin/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Mycoplasma/diagnosis , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19 , DNA, Bacterial , Diagnosis, Differential , Feces/microbiology , Female , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Mycoplasma pneumoniae/genetics , Mycoplasma pneumoniae/isolation & purification , Pneumonia, Mycoplasma/drug therapy , Sputum/microbiology , Young Adult
13.
Gut Microbes ; 13(1): 1-15, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281828

ABSTRACT

To investigate the relationship between intestinal microbiota and SARS-CoV-2-mediated pathogenicity in a United States, majority African American cohort. We prospectively collected fecal samples from 50 SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, 9 SARS-CoV-2 recovered patients, and 34 uninfected subjects seen by the hospital with unrelated respiratory medical conditions (controls). 16S rRNA sequencing and qPCR analysis was performed on fecal DNA/RNA. The fecal microbial composition was found to be significantly different between SARS-CoV-2 patients and controls (PERMANOVA FDR-P = .004), independent of antibiotic exposure. Peptoniphilus, Corynebacterium and Campylobacter were identified as the three most significantly enriched genera in COVID-19 patients compared to controls. Actively infected patients were also found to have a different gut microbiota than recovered patients (PERMANOVA FDR-P = .003), and the most enriched genus in infected patients was Campylobacter, with Agathobacter and Faecalibacterium being enriched in the recovered patients. No difference in microbial community structure between recovered patients and uninfected controls was observed, nor a difference in alpha diversity between the three groups. 24 of the 50 COVID-19 patients (48%) tested positive via RT-qPCR for fecal SARS-CoV-2 RNA. A significant difference in gut microbial composition between SARS-CoV-2 positive and negative samples was observed, with Klebsiella and Agathobacter being enriched in the positive cohort. No significant associations between microbiome composition and disease severity was found. The intestinal microbiota is sensitive to the presence of SARS-CoV-2, with increased relative abundance of genera (Campylobacter, Klebsiella) associated with gastrointestinal (GI) disease. Further studies are needed to investigate the functional impact of SARS-CoV-2 on GI health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Aged , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Feces/microbiology , Feces/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , United States/epidemiology
14.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0253293, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1280625

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Human microbiotas are communities of microorganisms living in symbiosis with humans. They play an important role in the host immune response to respiratory viral infection. However, evidence on the human microbiome and coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relationship is insufficient. The aim of this systematic literature review was to evaluate existing evidence on the association between the microbiome and COVID-19 in humans and summarize these data in the pandemic era. METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature review on the association between the microbiome and COVID-19 in humans by searching PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases for articles in English published up to October 31, 2020. The results were analyzed qualitatively. This study is registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020195982). RESULTS: Of the 543 articles identified by searching databases, 16 in line with the research objectives were eligible for qualitative review: eight sampled the microbiome using stool, four using nasopharyngeal or throat swab, three using bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and one using lung tissue. Fecal microbiome dysbiosis and increased opportunistic pathogens were reported in COVID-19 patients. Several studies suggested the dysbiosis in the lung microbiome of COVID-19 patients with an abundance of opportunistic pathogens using lower respiratory tract samples. The association between COVID-19 severity and the human microbiome remains uncertain. CONCLUSION: The human fecal and respiratory tract microbiome changed in COVID-19 patients with opportunistic pathogen abundance. Further research to elucidate the effect of alternation of the human microbiome in disease pathogenesis is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Dysbiosis/microbiology , Microbiota , Nasopharynx/microbiology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid , Dysbiosis/virology , Feces/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Humans
15.
Gut Microbes ; 13(1): 1-10, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270726

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 precautions decrease social connectedness. It has been proposed that these measures alter the gut microbiota, with potential clinical consequences. We tested this hypothesis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) receiving inpatient chemotherapy, a population with extensive exposure to the nosocomial setting and at high risk for infections. Hospitalized patients with AML contributed stool samples to a biorepository protocol that was initiated before COVID-19 and continued without change through the pandemic. Patient-, disease-, and treatment-related characteristics remained the same in the two eras and the only change in clinical care was the implementation of COVID-19 precautions in March 2020. The incidence of all-cause nosocomial infections during the pandemic was lower than in the pre-COVID-19 era. Multivariable analysis revealed an imprint of COVID-19 precautions in the gut microbiota as a viable mechanistic explanation. In conclusion, COVID-19 precautions alter the gut microbiota, thereby mediating pathogen susceptibility and nosocomial infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Susceptibility/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute/drug therapy , Aged , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , Feces/microbiology , Humans , Length of Stay , Masks , Middle Aged , Physical Distancing , Principal Component Analysis , RNA, Ribosomal, 16S/genetics , Risk , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Nature ; 594(7862): 234-239, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269388

ABSTRACT

Loss of gut microbial diversity1-6 in industrial populations is associated with chronic diseases7, underscoring the importance of studying our ancestral gut microbiome. However, relatively little is known about the composition of pre-industrial gut microbiomes. Here we performed a large-scale de novo assembly of microbial genomes from palaeofaeces. From eight authenticated human palaeofaeces samples (1,000-2,000 years old) with well-preserved DNA from southwestern USA and Mexico, we reconstructed 498 medium- and high-quality microbial genomes. Among the 181 genomes with the strongest evidence of being ancient and of human gut origin, 39% represent previously undescribed species-level genome bins. Tip dating suggests an approximate diversification timeline for the key human symbiont Methanobrevibacter smithii. In comparison to 789 present-day human gut microbiome samples from eight countries, the palaeofaeces samples are more similar to non-industrialized than industrialized human gut microbiomes. Functional profiling of the palaeofaeces samples reveals a markedly lower abundance of antibiotic-resistance and mucin-degrading genes, as well as enrichment of mobile genetic elements relative to industrial gut microbiomes. This study facilitates the discovery and characterization of previously undescribed gut microorganisms from ancient microbiomes and the investigation of the evolutionary history of the human gut microbiota through genome reconstruction from palaeofaeces.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/isolation & purification , Biodiversity , Biological Evolution , Feces/microbiology , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Genome, Bacterial/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions , Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Chronic Disease , Developed Countries , Developing Countries , Diet, Western , History, Ancient , Humans , Industrial Development/trends , Methanobrevibacter/classification , Methanobrevibacter/genetics , Methanobrevibacter/isolation & purification , Mexico , Sedentary Behavior , Southwestern United States , Species Specificity , Symbiosis
17.
Am J Gastroenterol ; 116(4): 647-656, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257193

ABSTRACT

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been recommended in clinical guidelines for the treatment of recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). However, it is considered investigational by most regulatory agencies. As the adoption of FMT has increased from a small group of CDI experts alone to more widespread use, there has been a corresponding increase in concern regarding potential risk. FMT is largely considered a safe procedure although risks described range from mild gastrointestinal symptoms to serious infection. Currently, there is variability in how "FMT" is characterized specifically regarding testing approach, which, in turn, impacts the risk profile. This has been highlighted by the rare cases of multidrug-resistant organisms, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia and enteropathogenic E. coli, recently reported, where these organisms were not screened. These cases have prompted additional screening mandates from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which has maintained its policy of enforcement discretion for the use of FMT for CDI not responding to standard therapy. Here, we examine the evolving risk landscape of FMT.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Clostridioides difficile/isolation & purification , Clostridium Infections/therapy , Fecal Microbiota Transplantation/methods , Clostridium Infections/microbiology , Feces/microbiology , Humans , Recurrence
19.
Dig Liver Dis ; 53(11): 1428-1432, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240280

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Due to the increasing rise of C. difficile infection, stool banks and donor programs have been launched to grant access to fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT). Our aim is to describe characteristics and outcomes of the donor program at our stool bank. METHODS: Donor candidates underwent a four-step selection process, including a clinical interview, blood and stool testing, a further questionnaire and a direct stool testing the day of each donation. From March 2020, specific changes to this process were introduced to avoid the potential transmission of COVID-19. We evaluated the rate of excluded candidates at each step of the screening, as well as the number of total fecal aliquots provided by qualified donors. RESULTS: Overall, 114 donor candidates were evaluated. Seventy-five candidates declined to join the program for logistic or personal issues, three were excluded after the questionnaire and seven for positive stool exams. Finally, 29 (25%) subjects qualified as stool donors, and provided 70 stool samples. Fifteen samples were excluded after direct molecular stool testing. A total of 127 aliquots was finally obtained. CONCLUSIONS: Donor recruitment for FMT is a challenging process, and only a small rate of candidates are eligible as donors.


Subject(s)
Biological Specimen Banks , Donor Selection/methods , Fecal Microbiota Transplantation , Adult , Biological Specimen Banks/organization & administration , Biological Specimen Banks/statistics & numerical data , Donor Selection/organization & administration , Donor Selection/statistics & numerical data , Feces/microbiology , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Italy , Male , Program Evaluation , Prospective Studies
20.
Science ; 372(6539)2021 04 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201427

ABSTRACT

Animals in the wild are able to subsist on pathogen-infected and poisonous food and show immunity to various diseases. These may be due to their microbiota, yet we have a poor understanding of animal microbial diversity and function. We used metagenomics to analyze the gut microbiota of more than 180 species in the wild, covering diverse classes, feeding behaviors, geographies, and traits. Using de novo metagenome assembly, we constructed and functionally annotated a database of more than 5000 genomes, comprising 1209 bacterial species of which 75% are unknown. The microbial composition, diversity, and functional content exhibit associations with animal taxonomy, diet, activity, social structure, and life span. We identify the gut microbiota of wild animals as a largely untapped resource for the discovery of therapeutics and biotechnology applications.


Subject(s)
Animals, Wild/microbiology , Bacteria , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Genome, Bacterial , Metagenome , Animals , Animals, Wild/classification , Animals, Wild/physiology , Bacteria/classification , Bacteria/genetics , Bacteria/isolation & purification , Bacterial Toxins/metabolism , Behavior, Animal , Biodiversity , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Diet , Ecosystem , Falkland Islands , Feces/microbiology , Host Microbial Interactions , Israel , Madagascar , Metagenomics , Peptide Hydrolases/genetics , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Phylogeny , Queensland , Uganda
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