Obstructive Sleep Apnea as a Risk Factor for COVID-19 Severity—The Gut Microbiome as a Common Player Mediating Systemic Inflammation via Gut Barrier Dysfunction

Saif Mashaqi, Rekha Kallamadi, Abhishek Matta, Stuart F. Quan, Salma I. Patel, Daniel Combs, Lauren Estep, Joyce Lee-Iannotti, Charles Smith, Sairam Parthasarathy, David Gozal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The novel corona virus that is now known as (SARS-CoV-2) has killed more than six mil-lion people worldwide. The disease presentation varies from mild respiratory symptoms to acute respiratory distress syndrome and ultimately death. Several risk factors have been shown to worsen the severity of COVID-19 outcomes (such as age, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity). Since many of these risk factors are known to be influenced by obstructive sleep apnea, this raises the possibility that OSA might be an independent risk factor for COVID-19 severity. A shift in the gut microbiota has been proposed to contribute to outcomes in both COVID-19 and OSA. To further evaluate the potential triangular interrelationships between these three elements, we conducted a thorough literature review attempting to elucidate these interactions. From this review, it is con-cluded that OSA may be a risk factor for worse COVID-19 clinical outcomes, and the shifts in gut microbiota associated with both COVID-19 and OSA may mediate processes leading to bacterial translocation via a defective gut barrier which can then foster systemic inflammation. Thus, targeting biomarkers of intestinal tight junction dysfunction in conjunction with restoring gut dysbiosis may provide novel avenues for both risk detection and adjuvant therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1569
JournalCells
Volume11
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • bacterial translocation
  • gut microbiome
  • inflammation
  • intermittent hypoxia
  • intestinal permeability
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • tight junc-tion
  • zonulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Obstructive Sleep Apnea as a Risk Factor for COVID-19 Severity—The Gut Microbiome as a Common Player Mediating Systemic Inflammation via Gut Barrier Dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this