Gut mycobiota alterations in patients with COVID-19 and H1N1 infections and their associations with clinical features
Commun Biol. 2021 Apr 13;4(1):480. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02036-x.
The relationship between gut microbes and COVID-19 or H1N1 infections is not fully understood. Here, we compared the gut mycobiota of 67 COVID-19 patients, 35 H1N1-infected patients and 48 healthy controls (HCs) using internal transcribed spacer (ITS) 3-ITS4 sequencing and analysed their associations with clinical features and the bacterial microbiota. Compared to HCs, the fungal burden was higher. Fungal mycobiota dysbiosis in both COVID-19 and H1N1-infected patients was mainly characterized by the depletion of fungi such as Aspergillus and Penicillium, but several fungi, including Candida glabrata, were enriched in H1N1-infected patients. The gut mycobiota profiles in COVID-19 patients with mild and severe symptoms were similar. Hospitalization had no apparent additional effects. In COVID-19 patients, Mucoromycota was positively correlated with Fusicatenibacter, Aspergillus niger was positively correlated with diarrhoea, and Penicillium citrinum was negatively correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP). In H1N1-infected patients, Aspergillus penicilloides was positively correlated with Lachnospiraceae members, Aspergillus was positively correlated with CRP, and Mucoromycota was negatively correlated with procalcitonin. Therefore, gut mycobiota dysbiosis occurs in both COVID-19 patients and H1N1-infected patients and does not improve until the patients are discharged and no longer require medical attention.