Does intestinal dysbiosis contribute to an aberrant inflammatory response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in frail patients?
Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). 2020;:110996
In a few months, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has become the main health problem worldwide. Epidemiologic studies revealed that populations have different vulnerabilities to SARS-CoV-2. Severe outcomes of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with an increased risk of death are observed in patients with metabolic syndrome, as well as diabetic and heart conditions (frail population). Excessive proinflammatory cytokine storm could be the main cause of increased vulnerability in this frail population. In patients with diabetes and/or heart disease, a low inflammatory state is often associated with gut dysbiosis. The increase amount of microbial metabolites (i.e., trimethylamine N-oxide and lipopolysaccharide), which generate an inflammatory microenvironment, is probably associated with an improved risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Nutritional interventions aimed at restoring the gut microbial balance could represent preventive strategies to protect the frail population from COVID-19. This narrative review presents the possible molecular mechanisms by which intestinal dysbiosis that enhances the inflammatory state could promote the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some nutritional strategies to counteract inflammation in frail patients are also analyzed.