Fungal microbiota sustains lasting immune activation of neutrophils and their progenitors in severe COVID-19
This study delves into the role of gastrointestinal fungal dysbiosis in severe COVID-19 cases and its impact on the host’s immune system. Elevated levels of Candida albicans antibodies were found in severe COVID-19 patients with gut Candida overgrowth, mycobiota imbalance, and systemic immune response. Analysis revealed changes in antifungal immunity pathways and reprogramming of immune cell progenitors, lasting up to a year. Mouse experiments supported these findings, and treatments targeting fungal infection and interleukin-6 receptor blockade showed promise in mitigating these effects. This research suggests that gut fungi could contribute to immune activation in severe COVID-19 and offers potential therapeutic strategies.
Kusakabe, T., Lin, WY., Cheong, JG. et al. Fungal microbiota sustains lasting immune activation of neutrophils and their progenitors in severe COVID-19. Nat Immunol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41590-023-01637-4