A coronavirus patient's gut bacteria may influence the length and severity of their infection and their immune response to it, a new study suggests. A team of researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong examined whether the variety and quantity of microbiome played a role in COVID-19 infections.
Researchers found that patients with COVID-19 were depleted in gut bacteria known to modify a person's immune response, and that this depletion appeared to persist 30 days after the virus had gone.
Gut bacteria — or gut microbiome — help to digest food. But research increasingly shows that gut bacteria also affect our health.
The study, published in the journal Gut, found that the composition of gut microbiome had changed in COVID-19 patients, compared to those who did not have the infection.
It said that gut microbiome could be involved in the "magnitude of COVID-19 severity possibly via modulating host immune responses".
Source: The Independent, 12 January 2021