Abstract

COronaVIrus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) is a pandemic respiratory infection caused by a new betacoronavirus, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoronaVirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Few data are reported on the gut microbiota in COVID-19 patients. 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed to reveal an altered composition of the gut microbiota in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia admitted in intensive care unit (ICU) (i-COVID19), or in infectious disease wards (w-COVID19) as compared to controls (CTRL). i-COVID19 patients showed a decrease of Chao1 index as compared to CTRL and w-COVID19 patients indicating that patients in ICU displayed a lower microbial richness while no change was observed as for Shannon Index. At the phylum level, an increase of Proteobacteria was detected in wCOVID19 patients as compared to CTRL. A decrease of Fusobacteria and Spirochetes has been found, with the latter decreased in i-COVID19 patients as compared to CTRL. Significant changes in gut microbial communities in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia with different disease severity compared to CTRL have been identified. Our preliminary data may provide valuable information and promising biomarkers for the diagnosis of the disease and, when validated in larger cohort, it could facilitate the stratification of patients based on the microbial signature.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0247041
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Volume16
Issue number2 February
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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