Infection with COVID alters the Microbiome of the Gut

A person’s lungs are known to be affected by COVID-19, and it can have long-lasting consequences on the brain.

Currently, doctors believe that COVID can impair your health in yet another way—through your stomach.

According to a recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, a COVID infection can lower the diversity of bacterial species in the gut, allowing hazardous antibiotic-resistant bacteria to flourish.

According to study co-senior author Ken Cadwell, a microbiologist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York City, “our findings imply that coronavirus infection directly interferes with the appropriate balance of bacteria in the gut, further harming patients in the process.”

A person who has an unhealthy gut is more susceptible to C. difficile, a dangerous bacteria that can cause life-threatening diarrhoea. Additionally, it may result in other health issues like bloating and acid reflux.

According to experts, the study is the first to demonstrate that COVID alone harms the gut flora. Doctors had previously suspected that the gut bacteria had been harmed by the use of antibiotics to treat COVID.

The majority of COVID patients showed poor gut microbiome diversity, according to an analysis of over 100 men and women hospitalised with the disease in 2020. The researchers discovered that a single strain of bacteria dominated the guts of a full quarter of the animals.

Populations of several potentially dangerous bacteria grew concurrently. 20% of patients had some antibiotic-resistant germs that had entered their circulation.

In a statement to NYU, Cadwell said, “Now that we have identified the cause of this bacterial imbalance, physicians can better identify those coronavirus patients most at risk of a subsequent bloodstream infection.”

The results were released on November 1st.

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For more information on gut health, visit the Cleveland Clinic.

SOURCE: News release from the NYU Grossman School of Medicine

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