Researchers at Rutgers University and Cleveland Clinic are following more than 850 people to see whether their baseline microbiome characteristics and metabolomic traits correlate with their risk for contracting COVID-19 and the severity of the infection.
“We hope this work will produce insights into how the microbiome status can predict the ability to produce an immune response to COVID-19, [and] we hope this will lead to an understanding of COVID-19 management strategies, including treatment and prevention through dietary intervention,” lead researcher Martin Blaser, MD, the Henry Rutgers Chair of the Human Microbiome at Rutgers, in Piscataway, N.J., said during a webinar in September.
Blaser and his team launched their study in March 2020, in the early stages of the pandemic in the United States. They gathered 25,000 samples of oral and fecal microbiome as well as plasma metabolite samples from a cohort of 849 uninfected health care and non–health care workers in New Jersey. At the time of the webinar, 10% of participants had tested positive for COVID-19.