Impact of COVID-19 on the Intestinal Microbiome

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review article aims to explore the GI changes induced by SARS-CoV-2 and how gut microbial homeostasis can influence these changes and affect the lung-gut axis and its relationship with the induction of the cytokine release syndrome in severe COVID-19 patients. RECENT FINDINGS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects not only the respiratory system but can produce multi-systemic damage. The expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptors in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the high prevalence of GI symptoms in severely ill COVID-19 patients, and the abnormalities described in the gut microbiome in these patients have raised concerns about the influence of GI tract as a risk factor or as a potential modulator to reduce the severity of COVID-19. Understanding the mechanisms by which gut dysbiosis may influence viral transmission and disease progression in COVID-19 may help in shaping how accessible therapies, like diet modulation, can potentially help beat the devastating consequences of COVID-19.