Gastrointestinal symptoms, pathophysiology, and treatment in COVID-19
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The novel coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged and is responsible for the Coronavirus Disease 20191 global pandemic. Coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, are strongly associated with respiratory symptoms during infection, but gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain, have been identified in subsets of COVID-19 patients. This article focuses on gastrointestinal symptoms and pathophysiology in COVID-19 disease. Evidence suggests that the gastrointestinal tract could be a viral target for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Not only is the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 highly expressed in the GI tract and is associated with digestive symptoms, but bleeding and inflammation are observed in the intestine of COVID-19 patients. We further systemically summarized the correlation between COVID-19 disease, gastrointestinal symptoms and intestinal microbiota. The potential oral-fecal transmission of COVID-19 was supported by viral RNA and live virus detection in the feces of COVID-19 patients. Additionally, the viral balance in the GI tract could be disordered during SARS-CoV-2 infection which could further impact the homeostasis of the gut microbial flora. Finally, we discuss the clinical and ongoing trials of treatments/therapies, including antiviral drugs, plasma transfusion and immunoglobulins, and diet supplementations for COVID-19. By reviewing the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 virus, and understanding the correlation between COVID-19, GI health and the intestinal microbiota, we provide perspective in prevention and control, as well as diagnosis and treatment of the COVID-19 disease.
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.gendis.2020.08.013
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