The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading to every corner of the world. During this worldwide attack of virus, human beings are highly concerned for their immune system, since it is the only savior currently. In circumventing a response to pathogenic infections like coronavirus, a healthy microbiome is essential to maintain an optimal immune system in preventing the excessive immune reactions that eventually become detrimental to lungs and vital organ systems. Under these circumstances, it has become imperative to have a balanced immune response as the over reactive or under reactive can be consequential to aggravate clinical complications. Undoubtedly, good diet has always played a significant role in the building the healthy microbiome and ultimately strong immune system.
The human microbiome is involved in various functions that are essential to lead a healthy life. Majority of the microorganisms benefit humans by supplementing them with traits that they would otherwise not possess. These include metabolism of complex carbohydrates, renewal of gut epithelial cells and prevention of growth of pathogens.
With the significant potential of microbiome therapeutics to fight against the various infections, pharma companies are carving to develop the therapeutic to fight against the COVID-19. As per the recent reports from China, it was suggested that there is strong relationship existing between the coronavirus and GI tract. Moreover, antiviral microbiome therapeutics seems to have significant potential to save lives by enabling string immune response to fight against the COVID-19 infection.
Probiotics are another star performer in the Microbiome Domain
Probiotics are living microorganisms, when consumed, have a beneficial effect on human health. The most common type of microorganism used in a probiotic is bacteria; however, in some cases other microorganisms such as yeast may also be added. They are often referred to as good or beneficial bacteria as they help in maintaining the health of the gut. The main mechanism of action includes replacement of harmful bacteria by good / beneficial bacteria in the GI tract and maintaining a microbial balance (good vs. bad microorganisms) that is well suited to the body.
Under the research projects of COVID-19, it has been observed that probiotics and prebiotics are helping in flatten the curve and saving patients from the severe illness. It has been observed that certain oral probiotic strains are reducing the incidence and severity of viral respiratory tract infections.
Microbiome-based Diagnostics Have the Potential to Facilitate Early Diagnosis of Disease
Over time, microbiome diagnostics have emerged as an important tool for supporting a number of gut-related disorder and certain other disease indications as well. However, being a relatively novel field of research, it is likely to require more time and significant R&D effort in order to mature into a reliable, mainstream diagnostic solution. In recent years, advances on microbiome research have enabled researchers to diagnose certain clinical conditions based on an examination of the resident microbiota. Given the inherent complexities and vast diversity of a microbiome, the appropriate tools are gradually being developed / upgraded to facilitate accurate analysis.
Microbiome-based diagnostic solutions are designed to help detect changes in individual microbiome profiles of different patients, in order to facilitate a valid medical diagnosis. Presently, the diagnostic applications of the microbiome cater to the diagnosis of infectious diseases and / or monitoring of microbial components associated with non-communicable chronic diseases.
The microbiome (stool) based diagnostic tests are also becoming potential tool to predict the patients, which are at higher risk of developing severe complications and death from COVID-19. It has been observed that the firms have started using AI and next generation sequencing technologies for the development of microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics.
COVID-19 has pushed the world and it is demanding the faster and better understanding of the disease. The research in gut microbiota has propelled our knowledge in the field of chronic and infectious disease. Currently, the effective nutritional strategy and specific functional foods, which aim at the microbiota for specific population is the need of hour. Moreover, researchers believe that microbiome-based therapeutics can treat multiple strains of influenza in additional to other respiratory viral infections.