Long Covid linked to increased harmful gut fungi, study finds

Report suggests mycobiota could trigger immune response that increases lung damage

Gut fungi could be contributing to worsening symptoms of long Covid, a study has found, as doctors continue to question why some people struggle to recover from the virus.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York found the growth of intestinal fungi, or mycobiota, led to a surge in immune cells that increased lung damage, or fibrosis, in patients with Covid-19.

During a severe Covid-19 infection, gut-dwelling fungi such as Candida albicans yeast were found to thrive, leading to excessive inflammation that exacerbates disease and causes long-lasting changes to immunity.

Doctors in the UAE said inflammation was common in patients with persistent Covid-19 symptoms.

“It has been observed specifically with the Covid virus that some patients do persist to have lung fibrosis specifically, and this happens because they have inflammation inside the airways,” said Dr Sukhant Bagdia, a pulmonologist at Burjeel Medical City.

“This is common in patients dependent on oxygen in intensive care for a longer period of time, and they are probably getting a secondary infection.

“Some continue to have this fibrosis, restricting their life with shortness of breath, fatigue, malaise and also getting infections more easily.

“The virus has created an inflammatory process, and a small proportion of people would be having this inflammatory reaction beyond control.”

Read full story: Thenationalnews