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The Microbiome and The Age of COVID-19

Microbiome CovidBy Teresa Conrick

Thank you for this vintage photo.

We are in, “The Age of Covid-19” right now.  All of us.  We keep hearing about “the new normal” and how we will manage in this “new world.”  For many of us who have had ill children and young adults with immune issues, some of this is a world that we have already inhabited.  It has always included washing your hands excessively, keeping your distance from sick people, avoiding crowds, not touching  doorknobs, etc. I have been a follower of microbiome research and autism, as it has been pivotal for my daughter having better days of health and life.  The devastation that we are seeing with a novel virus hitting the populations around the globe has some overlap.  

                                                        Gastrointestinal Distress

A recent study came out of China, Evidence for Gastrointestinal Infection of SARS-CoV-2

We are not hearing about this enough, so I need to share this information, that more than half of Covid-19 patients have gastrointestinal issues as they are becoming infected with the virus.  Some important facts on that topic:

  • After viral entry, virus-specific RNA and proteins are synthesized in the cytoplasm to assemble new virions,7 which can be released to the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Therefore, fecal-oral transmission could be an additional route for viral spread.
  • In more than 20% of patients with SARS-CoV-2, we observed that the test result for viral RNA remained positive in feces, even after test results for viral RNA in the respiratory tract converted to negative, indicating that the viral gastrointestinal infection and potential fecal-oral transmission can last even after viral clearance in the respiratory tract. 
  • Our results highlight the clinical significance of testing viral RNA in feces by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) because infectious virions released from the gastrointestinal tract can be monitored by the test. 

It appears that the gut can create havoc and severity of viral symptoms:

Influenza and other respiratory viral infections predispose patients to secondary bacterial super-infections, which are frequently associated with a more severe clinical course. ...This raises the possibility that disruptions in the normal microbial communities by an acute viral infection might contribute to the development of post-viral bacterial pneumonia….Interactions between respiratory tract infections and the gut microbiome are bidirectional. While respiratory viral infections can change the gut microbiome, the gut microbiome also shapes the adaptive immune responses against respiratory pathogens.

Here is an interesting article with an interview, How Bacteria Could Affect Outcomes Of COVID-19 Patients  “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, scientists are racing to unravel every aspect of how this novel virus behaves. The elderly, those with pre-existing conditions and members of disadvantaged communities with less access to health care have the worst outcomes. But what scientists don't understand is why some people who fall outside those groups are also being hospitalized — in some cases dying — while others are not….Among those trying to figure that out is Dr. Ronald Collman, a microbiologist and professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who thinks that our microbiome — the bacteria and fungi that live in our bodies and on our skin — may be playing a role.

While most healthy people have very little bacteria or fungi in the lungs, the nature of those microbes changes when people develop a disease, he says. The range of microbes present throughout our bodies determines how the immune system responds…….

Another recent study, not yet peer reviewed, also was done, Gut microbiota may underlie the predisposition of healthy individuals to COVID-19,  showing the growing importance of this research.

                                               Neurological Complications

We have heard in the news about symptoms of this virus. A brand new study, Neurological complications of coronavirus and COVID-19 tells us more - Coronaviruses are not always confined to the respiratory tract, and under certain conditions they can invade the central nervous system and cause neurological pathologies. . Neurological symptoms have been reported in patients affected by COVID-19, such as headache, dizziness, myalgia and anosmia, as well as cases of encephalopathy, encephalitis, necrotising haemorrhagic encephalopathy, stroke, epileptic seizures, rhabdomyolysis and Guillain-Barre syndrome, associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

There seems to be evidence that again, having a good microbiome can protect against some of that damage - Gut microbes protect against neurologic damage from viral infections

How might this damage be happening?

While COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is generally a respiratory infection with coughing and shortness of breath as key features of the illness, some people have reported other symptoms, including loss of smell, heart trouble, and diarrhea...Scientists say that these non-lung symptoms might also be good indicators of SARS-CoV-2. Once inside a person’s body, the novel coronavirus attaches to a protein on human cells called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This enzyme, which is normally involved in blood pressure regulation, sits on the surface of different types of cells, including those in the brain, blood vessels, heart, intestines, and kidneys….

In children, we are hearing about increasing cases of Kawasaki Disease associated with Covid 19.  Very scary.  Interestingly, Kawasaki Disease has a long line of research connecting it to a very imbalanced microbiome.

                                                     The Neuropsychiatric Imprint

There have been cases of Covid-19 presenting with neuropsychiatric symptoms.  As a result, researchers have looked into people being exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and an increased risk of neuropsychiatric symptoms such as encephalopathy, psychosis, depression and mood changes.

From their study, Are we facing a crashing wave of neuropsychiatric sequelae of COVID-19? Neuropsychiatric symptoms and potential immunologic mechanisms :

Viral shedding in feces of COVID-19 patients is known to occur for at least five weeks post-infection (Yongjian Wu et al., 2020). Although the extent and mechanisms of viral infiltration of gut epithelium by SARS-CoV-2 are currently unknown, ACE2 is expressed by gut epithelial cells, and almost 40% of COVID-19 patients present with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms (Zhang et al., 2020). As such, gastroenterologists performing fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to treat C. difficile have identified the need to screen donors for potential GI infiltration by SARS-CoV-2 (Ianiro et al., 2020). It may be the case that SARS-CoV-2 infection precipitates changes in gut microbial composition, which could be involved in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric symptoms via the gut-brain axis; this remains largely speculative, but is mechanistically feasible (Li et al., 2019)...

Studies of past respiratory viral pandemics suggest that diverse types of neuropsychiatric symptoms can arise in the context of acute viral infection, or after variable periods of time post-infection. Reports from the 18th and 19th centuries suggest that influenza pandemics in particular have been marked by increased incidences of various neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, mania, psychosis, suicidality, and delirium (Honigsbaum, 2013, Menninger, 1926). For instance, encephalitis lethargica (EL) is an inflammatory disorder of the CNS marked by hypersomnolence, psychosis, catatonia, and Parkinsonism, the incidence of which increased around the time of the “Spanish” influenza pandemic of the early 20th century (Von Economo, 1932). 

Awakenings 2

                            Awakenings with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams  

                            Future Treatments for the Microbiome in Covid-19?

NOTE:  These are for discussion purposes only and please consult a doctor if you have any questions about your health.

There are not many treatments yet for Covid-19.  Prevention, besides washing your hands and social distancing, is not yet established, though the search for a vaccine is discussed daily - At least 90 potential COVID-19 vaccines are under study, and six of those are already being tested on humans in phase I clinical trials to determine if they’re safe….Anthony Fauci, MD, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has often cited a possible 12- to 18-month timeline.

And that is probably extremely optimistic, says Paul Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center and attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "I don't see how 12 to 18 months is possible," he says. "That is ridiculously fast."

Some researchers think there may never be an effective vaccine for Covd-19:

It’s possible, Roper fears, that COVID-19 could be a virus that proves resistant to vaccination. “This may be one,” she says. “If we have one, this is going to be it, I think.” The FDA has never approved a vaccine for humans that is effective against any member of the coronavirus family, which includes SARS, MERS, and several that cause the common cold….In a worse-case scenario, a phenomenon called “immune enhancement” can cause vaccines to make the symptoms of infections worse. Instead of preventing the virus from entering healthy cells, the antibodies actually help them to do so. In 2016, after some 800,000 Filipino schoolchildren were given a dengue-fever vaccine called Dengvaxia, officials realized that some of them had been put at increased risk of life-threatening complications. Investigators wound up looking into the deaths of some 600 children who’d taken part.

Since antibodies continue to be perplexing with this dangerous virus, that could be a stark reality.  Here are some treatment ideas that seem to have research showing potential benefit:

---  There is research showing that “ bismuth‐based drugs” may possibly be a medication that can be used to “dramatically reduce replication in infected cells”:

Inhibition of SARS coronavirus helicase by bismuth complexes

Bismuth Complexes Inhibit the SARS Coronavirus†

This is intriguing for a number of reasons but obviously it is microbiome-related.  Researchers in China have decided to pursue this in a clinical trial:

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for evaluation of the efficacy and safety of bismuth potassium citrate capsules in the treatment of patients with Novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19).

---   VItamin D3 and the microbiome have a critical connection.  I have been researching that for quite awhile.

Here is a very recent study showing that  low levels of Vit D3 are connected to severe cases of Covid-19. Vitamin D Insufficiency is Prevalent in Severe COVID-19

And this one as well, The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality.

---   Based on the present expert consensus carried out by National Health Commission and National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, our team summarized and established an effective treatment strategy centered on "Four-Anti and Two-Balance" for clinical practice. The "Four-Anti and Two-Balance"strategy included antivirus, anti-shock, anti-hyoxemia, anti-secondary infection, and maintaining of water, electrolyte and acid base balance and microecological balance….The "Four-Anti and Two-Balance"strategy effectively increased cure rate and reduced mortality. Early antiviral treatment could alleviate disease severity and prevent illness progression, and we found lopinavir/ritonavir combined with abidol showed antiviral effects in COVID-19….Some patients with COVID-19 showed intestinal microbial dysbiosis with decreased probiotics such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Nutritional and gastrointestinal function should be assessed for all patients. Nutritional support and application of prebiotics or probiotics were suggested to regulate the balance of intestinal microbiota and reduce the risk of secondary infection due to bacterial translocation.

--- Vitamin C:  

Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome.  The protective action of ascorbic acid is shown in [126]. A high dose IV Vit-C was used in 2009 to treat a New Zealand farmer (Primal Panacea) [127]. Vit-C was able to cut down ICU stay through an analysis of 18 clinical studies on 2004 ICU patients [128]. It was found that 17,000 mg/day IV Vit-C had shortened the ICU stay by 44 %. The use of IV Vit-C in 47 sepsis ICU cases was reported and a major reduction in death was possible [129]. Dietary antioxidants (Vit-C and sulforaphane) were helpful to manage oxidative-stress-induced acute inflammatory lung injury that requires mechanical ventilation [130]. Another antioxidant, natural curcumin has also been effective against inflammation that caused during pneumonia [131]. National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that high dose IV Vit-C (1.5 g/kd body weight) is safe for good health and without side effects [116].

A new clinical trial to test high-dose vitamin C in patients with COVID-19

Vitamin C is best known for its antioxidant properties, being able to scavenge damaging reactive oxygen species, thus protecting the body’s cells and tissues from oxidative damage and dysfunction. However, the vitamin also has numerous other important functions within the body, many of which are known to support healthy immune function. During infection, vitamin C levels can become depleted and a person’s requirement for vitamin C increases with the severity of the infection [1]. In severe cases, this may require intravenous administration of gram doses in order to achieve high enough levels in the body to compensate for the enhanced turnover of the vitamin...Just recently registered on clincialtrials.gov (Identifier: NCT04264533), a new clinical trial to investigate vitamin C infusion for the treatment of severe 2019-nCoV infected pneumonia has begun in Wuhan, China. This is one of the first RCTs to test the effects of IV vitamin C in patients infected with this virus. In this trial, the investigators will treat 140 patients with a placebo control or intravenous vitamin C at a dose of 24 g/day for 7 days. They will assess requirements for mechanical ventilation and vasopressor drugs, organ failure scores, ICU length of stay and 28-day mortality.

--- Other candidates include, quercetin, cinnamon, licorice extract, and selenium.

To good health, safe treatments, and a return to normalcy.

Teresa Conrick is Science Editor for Age of Autism.





                                                                        






Comments

goldenchameleon

I couldn't agree with Bob Moffit more. From the moment I saw the MSM hyping Kawasaki disease I knew something was fishy. It seemed awfully late in the game to be noticing a rare complication such as this in children with COVID. We are to believe that the virus raged through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, "not affecting children," and now that it is in the US it is causing this mysterious inflammatory condition? The Kawasaki hype is to groom fearful parents to accept an untested, indemnified vaccine for their children. If the syndrome is a real phenomenon it is almost surely the product of heavily vaccinated, over-medicated children.

John Stone

Pft

Yes, Judy Mikovits was also pointing out that the Italian government rolled out an untested flu vaccine for the elderly last year which included an H1N1 component. It is certainly concerning that or governments are apparently pressing ahead with the flu vaccine programme this autumn against the evidence.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X19313647?via%3Dihub

Pft

I recently learned that since 2016 those age 65 and over are given a flu vaccine that differs from those who are under 65. The vaccine is Fluad and it uses a super adjuvant made from squalene that stimulates the immune system 4 times greater than aluminum adjuvants. Elderly overall have 60% vaccination rates and in nursing homes I guess its closer to 100%. Since many who die from covid-19 do so due to an excessive immune response caused by cytokine storm this should be considered

Also since papayas are now testing positive I suspect some of these deaths in younger people are just false positives

https://www.google.com/amp/s/globalnews.ca/news/6910821/coronavirus-papaya-goat-tanzania/amp/

As for the fecal route, you are far more likely to get a virus from respiratory droplets than fecal matter. Not a major concern for most of us. Although those who need to handle fecal matter from others should take care

Ramona Baxter

From last week, here is Del Bigtree's interview with Dr. Zach Bush:

https://www.facebook.com/HighWireTalk/videos/783415185521346

They discuss the microbiome, air pollution, glyphosate, pharma drugs, and vaccines in relation to Covid-19 and other viruses. There is also a spiritual component to the interview tying together birth, death, human life, life on this planet, diversity, viruses, microbes, love, and beauty. It is a magnificent, mind-blowing interview with a brilliant, ethical, and humble doctor and scientist.

Johan

This is an excellent and very revealing summary analysis of all the latest findings and should be presented to researchers. However, we should note that this is essentially a blog post and not a peer reviewed study so please don't rush out and inject cinnamon into your veins. lol

Anita Donnelly

Today the NY post had an article about glutathione possibly saving a woman. It is of course a great chelate also

Benedetta

Oh that is good Bob Moffit.
Include the DPT shot causing Kawasaki disease.
And Paul Offit should be familiar with Kawasaki disease too, since his 6 million dollar vaccine also has that listed as a side effect to his vaccine

Maybe all this Covid 19 lab grown and released is not such a mistake, but to be used as a scape goat, something to place blame on all the deaths and injuries by vaccines.

I have had a hard time for years with all of this. I came to the crazy conclusion that there are people that wants to reduce the population willy nilly and my family has been chosen?

The people that we are dealing with are evil people. They also probably think they are the smartest people on the planet that thinks they can play three D chess? Truly they can play a good game of very dull monopoly; the roll of the dice, places them on a big pharma pay off space.

Don't forget to pass the bottle of N - acetylcysteine for those of us with OCD

michael

I wonder if anyone is compiling the drugs the elderly are on who succumb to their battle with the virus.
How many are taking proton pump inhibitors and if that figures into impaired microbiota and being woefully deficient in vitamin D-3.

That's data I would like to see.

Gary Ogden

Thanks, Teresa. Also important: Selenium (crucial in Ebola survival) and zinc status.

Bob Moffit

Theresa writes:

"In children, we are hearing about increasing cases of Kawasaki Disease associated with Covid 19. Very scary. Interestingly, Kawasaki Disease has a long line of research connecting it to a very imbalanced microbiome."

Indeed .. in NY we are being bombarded with headlines .. such as this from NY Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/09/health/mysterious-coronavirus-illness-claims-3-children-in-new-york.html

"A mysterious syndrome has killed three young children in New York and sickened 73 others, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Saturday, an alarming rise in a phenomenon that was first publicly identified earlier this week."

The NY Times article was just one of many such reports being broadcast on all networks raising serious concerns about CHILDREN being hospitalized or dying from this "mysterious syndrome" that is being linked directly to covid19. It seems odd the threat to children has taken so long to manifest and become alarming headline news .. as we have been told from the very beginning .. by all public health experts .. in all countries .. that the elderly .. especially those with co-morbidity conditions were at high risk and children were at very low or at no risk from the disease. Surely Kawasaki disease presenting in children with covid19 anti-bodies would have surfaced quickly in the earliest stages of the GLOBAL PANDEMIC and been recognized at those very early stages????

Here is an article linking Kawasaki disease .. the diagnosis given to children with the "mysterious syndrome" .. with VACCINES:

https://www.mctlaw.com/vaccine-injury/kawasaki-disease-triggered-by-a-vaccine/

"For the most part, vaccines are completely safe procedures that prevent communities from suffering outbreaks of deadly diseases like tuberculosis, measles, and yellow fever. Vaccines especially protect those who are most vulnerable among us: babies, children, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised. However, in very rare cases, patients suffer injuries like Kawasaki disease as a side-effect of an otherwise safe vaccine.

Although the causes of many vaccine injuries are not clear, research suggests some patients’ bodies might over-react to their vaccines, leading to serious side-effects. Below, we have put together a list of a few of the vaccines that are linked to Kawasaki Disease.

•RotaTeq – live rotavirus vaccine. The RotaTeq safety label began listing Kawasaki Disease as an adverse reaction after it was contracted in five children within days of receiving the shot.
•Pediarix – a combination vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and polio. A study done found a slightly higher incidence of Kawasaki Disease after the Pediarix vaccine than other vaccines (Hua et al).
•Prevnar 13 (PCV13) – This vaccine protects against 13 different types of pneumococcal bacteria.

According to VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System), there are also a number of other vaccines that have reports of Kawaski disease being contracted.
-------------------------------------
An admitted cynic .. I do not believe this new "mysterious syndrome" is being caused by covid19 .. I suspect it is being caused as it has always been caused .. VACCINES .. but as the man said .. NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE. Of course public health officials could easily ascertain if those poor children who died had recently been vaccinated or not .. but .. we can rest assured they will test and test for ANY possible remote connection with covid19 … while studiously, deliberately, avoiding at all cost … any possible link to a vaccine recently received. In any event .. if parents are frightened enough by these reports of danger to their children .. they will .. understandably … accept the closing of schools until that long anticipated miracle vaccine arrives .. so I suspect schools in NY will remain closed until that vaccine is made available.
--------------------------------------
Theresa also writes:

"In a worse-case scenario, a phenomenon called “immune enhancement” can cause vaccines to make the symptoms of infections worse. Instead of preventing the virus from entering healthy cells, the antibodies actually help them to do so."

4,500 elderly patients in senior nursing homes have died from covid19 .. the number of deaths made worse by Gov Cuomo's insane decision to require nursing homes to accept patients known to have covid19 .. even after those nursing homes told Gov Cuomo they could not protect them or other patients if they were admitted.

I suspect senior nursing homes REQUIRE PATIENTS AND STAFF TO RECEIVE ANNUAL FLU SHOTS .. and I think it would be valuable to know if receiving 5-10 years of annual flu vaccines have rendered these senior citizens … through "IMMUNE ENHANCEMENT" .. more susceptible to Covid19 virus???


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