Co-infection with ‘superbug’ may increase COVID-19 death risk

Credit: Engin Akyurt / Unsplash

Researchers at Western University have made big progress towards understanding the relationship between COVID-19 and bacterial co-infections.

A new study has found that nearly 10% of severe COVID-19 cases involve a secondary bacterial co-infection, and the addition of a “superbug” – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – could make the COVID-19 outcome even more deadly.

The team tested how and why the combination of these two pathogens contributes to the severity of the disease.

Their latest research revealed that a protein found in all strains of staph A, called IsdA, enhances COVID-19 virus replication by 10- to 15-fold.

This finding is important and could help inform the development of new therapeutic approaches for COVID-19 patients with bacterial co-infections.

Interestingly, the researchers also found that SARS-CoV-2 did not affect the bacteria’s growth, which was contrary to their initial assumptions.

The team had assumed that SARS-CoV-2 and hospitalization due to COVID-19 possibly caused patients to be more susceptible to bacterial infections, which eventually resulted in worse outcomes.

Bacterial infections are commonly acquired in hospital settings, and hospitalization increases the risk of co-infection.

These infections are one of the most significant complications of respiratory viral infections such as COVID-19 and influenza A.

Despite the use of antibiotics, 25 percent of patients co-infected with SARS-CoV-2 and bacteria die as a result.

This is especially true for patients who are hospitalized and even more so for those in intensive care units.

The team explained that the team was interested in finding out why this happens.

This study was conducted at Western’s level 3 biocontainment lab, Imaging Pathogens for Knowledge Translation (ImPaKT), Goncheva to created an out-of-organism laboratory model to study the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and MRSA.

The next step is to replicate this study in relevant animal models.

The findings of this study shed light on the complex interactions between bacteria and viruses and provide a better understanding of how co-infections can impact the severity of COVID-19.

With this new information, researchers may be able to develop new treatments to combat bacterial co-infections in COVID-19 patients, ultimately improving outcomes and reducing mortality rates.

The study offers valuable insight into the relationship between COVID-19 and bacterial co-infections.

The researchers’ findings could have big implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches for COVID-19 patients with bacterial co-infections, ultimately improving outcomes and reducing mortality rates.

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus disease 2019, is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

COVID-19 primarily spreads through respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk. It can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects.

Symptoms of COVID-19 vary from person to person and range from mild to severe.

Common symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, while less common symptoms include fatigue, body aches, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell.

In some cases, people with COVID-19 may not show any symptoms at all, but they can still transmit the virus to others.

COVID-19 has had a big impact on global health and economies, with many countries implementing measures such as lockdowns and travel restrictions to try and slow the spread of the virus.

Vaccines have been developed and are being distributed worldwide to help control the pandemic.

Prevention measures for COVID-19 include wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene, maintaining social distancing, and getting vaccinated.

It is important to follow the guidelines set by public health authorities to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect yourself and others.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms, it is important to get tested and follow the advice of healthcare professionals.

With continued efforts to control the spread of the virus, it is hoped that the world will be able to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about eye disease linked to severe COVID-19 in older people, and this nasal spray lowers COVID-19 infection by 60%.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about COVID infection, and vaccination, linked to heart problems, and results showing scientists find new cause of artery hardening and kidney disease.

The study was conducted by Mariya Goncheva et al and published in iScience.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.