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Almost three years after the start of the pandemic, the Covid-19 virus continues to intrigue scientists, who are still trying to discover all its effects on the body. According to an American study forgotten in the journal Nature, the virus could have serious consequences on the intestinal flora. Explanations.
Cough, stuffy nose, fever, body aches… The classic symptoms caused by Sars-CoV-2 are known to everyone. The intestinal attack of the virus, which can cause diarrhea is much less mentioned. Yet these gastrointestinal symptoms of the virus can cause other, more serious disorders.
Samples from patients affected by covid
This study, conducted by researchers from New York University Grossman School of Medicine, in the United States, is the first to highlight the direct consequences of Covid on the intestinal microbiome. It was carried out following the analysis of samples taken from 96 patients positive for covid-19, in two different hospitals.
Consequences on the intestinal microbiome
These samples revealed “significant dysbiosis of the gut microbiome, including overgrowths of opportunistic pathogenic bacterial genera known to include antimicrobial resistant species,” the authors note.
According to the scientists, the virus would therefore be capable of destroying the intestinal microbiome, which would then promote the emergence of more resistant bacteria. A known consequence of the infection, but which the doctors attributed until then to the antibiotics used to fight against the disease.
More susceptibility to septic shock
In effect, “differences in gut bacterial populations compared to healthy controls were observed in all COVID-19 patients, but more strongly in patients who were treated with antibiotics while hospitalized” report the researchers. “More recently, COVID-19 patients treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics on admission have been shown to have increased susceptibility to multidrug-resistant infections and nearly double the mortality rate from septic shock” they write.
A link not yet clear
Although microbial populations in the gut microbiome are associated with the severity of covid-19, however, a causal link to patient health has yet to be established. However, the results of this work “are consistent with a direct role of gut microbiome dysbiosis in the possibility of dangerous secondary infections during COVID-19“conclude the authors.