Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1211348
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) COVID-19 alters human microbiomes: a meta-analysis
Author Reuben, R.C.; Beugnon, R.; Jurburg, S.D.
Source Titel Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Year 2023
Department UMB
Volume 13
Page From art. 1211348
Language englisch
Topic T7 Bioeconomy
Keywords COVID-19; gut microbiome; host health; SARS-C0V-2; infection; human microbiome

Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected a substantial portion of the world’s population, and novel consequences of COVID-19 on the human body are continuously being uncovered. The human microbiome plays an essential role in host health and well-being, and multiple studies targeting specific populations have reported altered microbiomes in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Given the global scale and massive incidence of COVID on the global population, determining whether the effects of COVID-19 on the human microbiome are consistent and generalizable across populations is essential.

Methods: We performed a synthesis of human microbiome responses to COVID-19. We collected 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequence data from 11 studies sampling the oral and nasopharyngeal or gut microbiome of COVID-19-infected and uninfected subjects. Our synthesis included 1,159 respiratory (oral and nasopharyngeal) microbiome samples and 267 gut microbiome samples from patients in 11 cities across four countries.

Results: Our reanalyses revealed communitywide alterations in the respiratory and gut microbiomes across human populations. We found significant overall reductions in the gut microbial diversity of COVID-19-infected patients, but not in the respiratory microbiome. Furthermore, we found more consistent community shifts in the gut microbiomes of infected patients than in the respiratory microbiomes, although the microbiomes in both sites exhibited higher host-to-host variation in infected patients. In respiratory microbiomes, COVID-19 infection resulted in an increase in the relative abundance of potentially pathogenic bacteria, including Mycoplasma.

Discussion: Our findings shed light on the impact of COVID-19 on the human-associated microbiome across populations, and highlight the need for further research into the relationship between long-term effects of COVID-19 and altered microbiota.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Reuben, R.C., Beugnon, R., Jurburg, S.D. (2023):
COVID-19 alters human microbiomes: a meta-analysis
Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 13 , art. 1211348 10.3389/fcimb.2023.1211348