Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), primarily a respiratory disease caused by infection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is often accompanied by gastrointestinal symptoms. However, little is known about the relation between the human microbiome and COVID-19, largely due to the fact that most previous studies fail to provide high taxonomic resolution to identify microbes that likely interact with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we used whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing data together with assembly and binning strategies to reconstruct metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from 514 COVID-19 related nasopharyngeal and fecal samples in six independent cohorts. We reconstructed a total of 11,584 medium-and high-quality microbial MAGs and obtained 5403 non-redundant MAGs (nrMAGs) with strain-level resolution. We found that there is a significant reduction of strain richness for many species in the gut microbiome of COVID-19 patients. The gut microbiome signatures can accurately distinguish COVID-19 cases from healthy controls and predict the progression of COVID-19. Moreover, we identified a set of nrMAGs with a putative causal role in the clinical manifestations of COVID-19 and revealed their functional pathways that potentially interact with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Finally, we demonstrated that the main findings of our study can be largely validated in three independent cohorts. The presented results highlight the importance of incorporating the human gut microbiome in our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease progression.

Fuente: Nature Communications
Published: 06 September 2022