Background Scientific evidence for the involvement of human microbiota in the development of COVID-19 disease has been reported recently. SARS- CoV-2 RNA presence in human faecal samples and SARS-CoV-2 activity in faeces from COVID-19 patients have been observed. Methods Starting from these observations, an experimental design was developed to cultivate in vitro faecal microbiota from infected individuals, to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2, and to collect data on the relationship between faecal bacteria and the virus. Results Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in vitro in bacterial growth medium, that the viral replication follows bacterial growth and it is influenced by the administration of specific antibiotics. SARS-CoV- 2-related peptides have been detected in 30-day bacterial cultures and characterised. Discussion Our observations are compatible with a ‘bacteriophage-like’ behaviour of SARS-CoV-2, which, to our knowledge has not been observed or described before. These results are unexpected and hint towards a novel hypothesis on the biology of SARS-CoV-2 and on the COVID-19 epidemiology. The discovery of possible new modes of action of SARS- CoV-2 has far-reaching implications for the prevention and the treatment of the disease.

Increase of SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in faecal samples prompts for rethinking of SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 epidemiology

Piazza, Ornella
Conceptualization
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background Scientific evidence for the involvement of human microbiota in the development of COVID-19 disease has been reported recently. SARS- CoV-2 RNA presence in human faecal samples and SARS-CoV-2 activity in faeces from COVID-19 patients have been observed. Methods Starting from these observations, an experimental design was developed to cultivate in vitro faecal microbiota from infected individuals, to monitor the presence of SARS-CoV-2, and to collect data on the relationship between faecal bacteria and the virus. Results Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in vitro in bacterial growth medium, that the viral replication follows bacterial growth and it is influenced by the administration of specific antibiotics. SARS-CoV- 2-related peptides have been detected in 30-day bacterial cultures and characterised. Discussion Our observations are compatible with a ‘bacteriophage-like’ behaviour of SARS-CoV-2, which, to our knowledge has not been observed or described before. These results are unexpected and hint towards a novel hypothesis on the biology of SARS-CoV-2 and on the COVID-19 epidemiology. The discovery of possible new modes of action of SARS- CoV-2 has far-reaching implications for the prevention and the treatment of the disease.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4767637
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