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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Gut Microbiota Changes and Immune Dysfunction Reflect Disease Severity in Covid-19 Patients

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Gut microbiota composition and dysfunctional immune responses reflect the severity of disease in Covid-19 patients.

    Gut Microbiota Changes and Immune Dysfunction Reflect Disease Severity in Covid-19 Patients - Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--Loco Steve
    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--Loco Steve

    Celiac.com 03/01/2021 - Although COVID-19 mainly affects the respiratory system, growing evidence indicates that the GI tract also plays a role in the disease. A team of researchers recently set out to determine if the gut microbiome is connected to disease severity in patients with Covid-19, and whether changes in microbiome composition might return to normal with the clearance of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here's what they found.

    The research team included Yun Kit Yeoh; Tao Zuo; Grace Chung-Yan Lui; Fen Zhang; Qin Liu; Amy YL Li; Arthur CK Chung; Chun Pan Cheung; Eugene YK Tso; Kitty SC Fung; Veronica Chan; Lowell Ling; Gavin Joynt; David Shu-Cheong Hui; Kai Ming Chow, Susanna So Shan Ng; Timothy Chun-Man Li; Rita WY Ng; Terry CF Yip; Grace Lai-Hung Wong; Francis KL Chan; Chun Kwok Wong; Paul KS Chan; and Siew C Ng.

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    For their study, the team reviewed blood, stool and data from 100 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. They collected serial stool samples from 27 of the 100 patients up to 30 days after clearance of SARS-CoV-2.  To assess gut microbiome compositions, they shotgun sequenced total DNA extracted from stools. They measured concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers from plasma.

    Compared with non-Covid-19 individuals. Patients with COVID-19 showed substantially changed gut microbiome composition, with or without taking medication. Several gut bacteria with known immunomodulatory potential, such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium rectale and bifidobacteria, were significantly reduced in patients and remained low for up to a month after Covid-19 resolution. 

    This altered gut microbiome displayed stratification with disease severity via elevated concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers such as C reactive protein, lactate dehydrogenase, aspartate aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase.

    The connections between gut microbiota levels, cytokines and inflammatory markers in Covid-19 patients indicate that the gut microbiome plays a significant role in Covid-19 severity possibly by modulating host immune responses. 

    The researchers suggest that gut microbiota imbalance after Covid-19 resolution could contribute to ongoing symptoms, making it important to determine the role of gut microorganisms in inflammation and Covid-19.

    Read more in Gut.


    The researchers are variously affiliated with the Department of Microbiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; the Center for Gut Microbiota Research, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; the State Key Laboratory for digestive disease, Institute of Digestive Disease, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; the Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; the Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong; the Department of Pathology, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Hong Kong; the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; the Department of Chemical Pathology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.

    Edited by Scott Adams

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    Good article!  I Believe it!

    See this older research about how changing "Fat" bugs in our GI tract to "Skinny" Bugs people lost weight even without a Gastric Bypass necessary.

    Entitled "Gut Bacteria May Be Key to Gastric Bypass' Effects: Study"

    Quoting from the article...

    "Even when they did not perform the surgery, and just transferred the new bacterial colony into the intestines of mice, those mice lost weight." "Simply by colonizing mice with the altered microbial community, the mice were able to maintain a lower body fat, and lose weight".....

    quoting again....

    "Our study suggests that the specific effects of gastric bypass on the microbiota contribute to its ability to cause weight loss, and that finding ways to manipulate microbial populations to mimic those effects could become a valuable new tool to address obesity," senior study author Lee Kaplan, director of the Obesity, Metabolism and Nutrition Institute at Massachusetts General, said in a statement.
    "The ability to achieve even some of these effects without surgery would give us an entirely new way to treat the critical problem of obesity, one that could help patients unable or unwilling to have surgery,"

    But good luck trying to convenience anyone getting ready for a Gastric Bypass....that they have "Bad Bugs".....causing their obesity....

    FMT's have been used successfully to treat C. Diff


    Who knows in a few years they might find the difference between good health and bad heath is only our "Good" or "Bad" bugs triggering unchecked inflammation in the body.

    I hope this is helpful but it is not medical advice.


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  • About Me

    Scott Adams

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.

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