Antibiotics can effectively target gut bacteria that harbor COVID-19 virus, study shows

New research indicates that antibiotics can effectively target bacteria in the gut that harbor the virus that causes COVID-19 and produce toxin-like peptides that contribute to COVID-19-related symptoms. In the study, which involved 211 participants and was published in the Journal of Medical Virology, individuals who received early antibiotic treatment after having COVID-19 recovered more quickly than those who did not receive antibiotics.

The authors had already evaluated the efficacy of certain antibiotics in SARS-CoV-2-infected bacterial cultures in vitro, and this new study demonstrates promising results with the use of the combination of 2 antibiotics (amoxicillin and rifaximin) within the first 3 days.

Furthermore, a significant number of patients who received antibiotics within the first 3 days and for a duration of 7 days during the acute phase of COVID-19 did not develop long COVID.

Our findings suggest that antibiotics should be considered in acute infection and Long COVID. The study also lays the foundation for additional vaccine strategies."

Marina Piscopo, PhD, co-corresponding author of the University of Naples Federico, Italy

Source:
Journal reference:

Brogna, C., et al. (2024) A retrospective cohort study on early antibiotic use in vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 patients. Journal of Medical Virology. doi.org/10.1002/jmv.29507.

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