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Gut Fungi implicated in long COVID symptoms, study reveals

The report suggests mycobiota could trigger an immune response that increases lung damage.

The report suggests mycobiota could trigger an immune response that increases lung damage.

A recent study has shed light on a potential link between gut fungi and the worsening symptoms experienced by individuals with long COVID-19, a phenomenon that has perplexed healthcare professionals. 

Researchers from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York discovered that the proliferation of intestinal fungi, known as mycobiota, was associated with an increase in immune cell activity, leading to lung damage, specifically fibrosis, in COVID-19 patients.

Understanding the Role of Intestinal Fungi

In patients suffering from severe COVID-19 infections, certain gut-dwelling fungi, such as Candida albicans yeast, were found to thrive. 

This fungal overgrowth triggered an excessive inflammatory response, intensifying the disease and causing long-lasting alterations to the immune system.

Parallels with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Immunologists involved in the study observed that the immune response to new viral infections of COVID-19 bore similarities to the inflammatory bowel disease, which is characterized by harmful inflammation within the body. 

This finding underscores the complex interplay between the immune system, the gut microbiome, and the severity of COVID-19, potentially providing new insights into managing and treating long COVID symptoms.

As the medical community continues to unravel the mysteries of long COVID-19, this study offers a valuable perspective on how gut fungi and the immune system may influence the course and severity of the disease, opening new avenues for research and potential therapies.

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