One of the most common entryways for the COVID-19 infection has been the nasal passage and a recent study claims that the absence of good bacteria in the nasal cavity can lead to more severe infections.
According to the study conducted by National Centre for Cell Sciences (MCCS), and BJ Medical College, it was found that those suffering from COVID infection show an increase in bacterial pathogens, which can cause a secondary infection. The cause of the increase in bacterial pathogens is the accumulation of mucus in their nose during the COVID infection, which creates a hyper-inflammatory environment, and allows them to thrive.
It was also found, that there is a reduction of good bacteria, as bacterial pathogens take over and colonize the nasal environment, which leads to more serious infection. The study was conducted by collecting the nasopharyngeal samples of suspected COVID patients and their family members.
In an interview with Times of India, Avinash Sharma, a Scientist at NCCS, who led the study explained, “There is a reduction of good bacteria, known to have a positive impact on the immune system, in the nasal region of COVID-19 patients. This, in turn, cause opportunistic pathogens to colonize the site. The study is significant as it can help determine how the virus actually promotes an increase in opportunistic pathogens, which may enhance the severity of other diseases.”
The study also found that the reason there are asymptomatic COVID patients is that they have good bacteria in their gut, which helps their immune system to fight the infection, and not fall severely ill.