The OM-85 bacterial lysate: A new tool against SARS-CoV-2?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus, caused the global Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Because SARS-CoV-2 mutates rapidly, vaccines that induce immune responses against viral components critical for target cell infection strongly mitigate but do not abrogate viral spread, and disease rates remain high worldwide. Complementary treatments are therefore needed to reduce the frequency and/or severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections. OM-85, a standardized lysate of 21 bacterial strains often found in the human airways, has immuno-modulatory properties and is widely used empirically in Europe, South America and Asia for the prophylaxis of recurrent upper airway infections in adults and children, with excellent safety profiles. In vitro studies from our laboratory recently demonstrated that OM-85 inhibits SARS-CoV-2 epithelial cell infection by downregulating SARS-CoV-2 receptor expression, raising the possibility that this bacterial extract might eventually complement the current COVID-19 therapeutic toolkit. Here we discuss how our results and those from other groups are fostering progress in this emerging field of research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number906
JournalMultidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
StatePublished - 2023


  • ACE2
  • OM-85 bacterial lysate
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • epithelial cell infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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