UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The Unique Impact of COVID-19 on Human Gut Microbiome Research

Burchill, E; Lymberopoulos, E; Menozzi, E; Budhdeo, S; McIlroy, JR; Macnaughtan, J; Sharma, N; (2021) The Unique Impact of COVID-19 on Human Gut Microbiome Research. Frontiers in Medicine , 8 , Article 652464. 10.3389/fmed.2021.652464. Green open access

[thumbnail of fmed-08-652464.pdf]
Preview
Text
fmed-08-652464.pdf - Published Version

Download (717kB) | Preview

Abstract

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted clinical trials globally, with unique implications for research into the human gut microbiome. In this mini-review, we explore the direct and indirect influences of the pandemic on the gut microbiome and how these can affect research and clinical trials. We explore the direct bidirectional relationships between the COVID-19 virus and the gut and lung microbiomes. We then consider the significant indirect effects of the pandemic, such as repeated lockdowns, increased hand hygiene, and changes to mood and diet, that could all lead to longstanding changes to the gut microbiome at an individual and a population level. Together, these changes may affect long term microbiome research, both in observational as well as in population studies, requiring urgent attention. Finally, we explore the unique implications for clinical trials using faecal microbiota transplants (FMT), which are increasingly investigated as potential treatments for a range of diseases. The pandemic introduces new barriers to participation in trials, while the direct and indirect effects laid out above can present a confounding factor. This affects recruitment and sample size, as well as study design and statistical analyses. Therefore, the potential impact of the pandemic on gut microbiome research is significant and needs to be specifically addressed by the research community and funders.

Type: Article
Title: The Unique Impact of COVID-19 on Human Gut Microbiome Research
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2021.652464
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2021.652464
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 Burchill, Lymberopoulos, Menozzi, Budhdeo, McIlroy, Macnaughtan and Sharma. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: COVID-19, gut microbiome, microbiome research, faecal microbiota transfer, clinical trials
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10124269
Downloads since deposit
46Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item