Background and study aims COVID-19 is a condition caused by the coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) that was first identified in late 2019. This virus can infect the respiratory (breathing) system. Some people do not have symptoms but can carry the virus and pass it on to others. People who have developed the condition may develop a fever and/or a continuous cough among other symptoms. This can develop into pneumonia. Pneumonia is a chest infection where the small air pockets of the lungs, called alveoli, fill with liquid and make it more difficult to breathe. In 2020, the virus has spread to many countries around the world and neither a vaccine against the virus or specific treatment for COVID-19 has yet been developed. As of March 2020, it is advised that people minimize travel and social contact, and regularly wash their hands to reduce the spread of the virus. Groups who are at a higher risk from infection with the virus, and therefore of developing COVID-19, include people aged over 70 years, people who have long-term health conditions (such as asthma or diabetes), people who have a weakened immune system and people who are pregnant. People in these groups, and people who might come into contact with them, can reduce this risk by following the up-to-date advice to reduce the spread of the virus. The mortality rate of this disease appears highly variable – ranging from 1 to 10%, in relation to the various geographical regions. Also, the extent of the infection and the severity of the symptoms appear extremely variable, and there is no data on the possible associations between infection/symptomatology and individual microbiome so far. Since the primary site of the SARS-Cov-2 infection is the nasopharynx, it is particularly interesting to characterize the oral microbiome (MO), in order to highlight any possible association between MO and development of the infection. In addition, the alteration of taste and smell in patients infected with SARS-Cov-2 is a characteristic symptom and it is proposed as an additional discriminating indication at the time of diagnostic screening. It is proven that the MO contributes to the perception of taste, therefore a particular interaction between oral microbiota and SARS-Cov-2 virus may be possible. Therefore, the study aims to characterize MO in infected, convalescent patients and in control healthy subjects matched by age and gender. The researchers believe that the results of the study may be important in clarifying the role of the MO as a cofactor in the onset and development of the infection, opening up new screening, therapy, and prevention approaches.
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|Titolo:||Investigating the microorganisms found in the mouths of SARS-Cov-2 positive patients|
CASELLI, Elisabetta [Conceptualization] (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||08.6 Working Paper|