Integrated gut virome and bacteriome dynamics in COVID-19 patients.

Published on Jan 1, 2021in Gut microbes7.74
· DOI :10.1080/19490976.2021.1887722
Jiabao Cao1
Estimated H-index: 1
(CAS: Chinese Academy of Sciences),
Cheng Wang4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Chinese PLA General Hospital)
+ 17 AuthorsPenghui Yang8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Chinese PLA General Hospital)
SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the current global pandemic of COVID-19; this virus infects multiple organs, such as the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. The microbiome in these organs, including the bacteriome and virome, responds to infection and might also influence disease progression and treatment outcome. In a cohort of 13 COVID-19 patients in Beijing, China, we observed that the gut virome and bacteriome in the COVID-19 patients were notably different from those of five healthy controls. We identified a bacterial dysbiosis signature by observing reduced diversity and viral shifts in patients, and among the patients, the bacterial/viral compositions were different between patients of different severities, although these differences are not entirely distinguishable from the effect of antibiotics. Severe cases of COVID-19 exhibited a greater abundance of opportunistic pathogens but were depleted for butyrate-producing groups of bacteria compared with mild to moderate cases. We replicated our findings in a mouse COVID-19 model, confirmed virome differences and bacteriome dysbiosis due to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and observed that immune/infection-related genes were differentially expressed in gut epithelial cells during infection, possibly explaining the virome and bacteriome dynamics. Our results suggest that the components of the microbiome, including the bacteriome and virome, are affected by SARS-CoV-2 infections, while their compositional signatures could reflect or even contribute to disease severity and recovery processes.
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