News in brief: Gut barrier disruption worsens COVID-19; PPI use linked to kids’ pneumonia

Tuesday, 23 Mar 2021


Severe COVID-19 may be fuelled by disrupted gut barrier integrity

Severe COVID-19 is associated with disrupted intestinal barrier integrity, higher microbial  translocation, and gut dysfunction, according to a new Australian study.

Researchers at the Burnet Institute and Monash University analysed plasma samples from COVID-19 patients, and found an association between disease severity and a dramatic increase in tight junction permeability and translocation of bacterial and fungal products into blood.

The intestinal disruption and microbial translocation correlated strongly with increased systemic inflammation and complement activation, lower gut metabolic function, and higher mortality, they reported in a paper published on the pre-press server MedXriv.

“By understanding these unappreciated underpinnings of COVID-19, this work may serve to identify biomarkers for risk stratification and build a foundation for developing strategies to prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19,” they wrote.


PPI use doubles risk of CAP in kids

The risk of community-acquired pneumonia is doubled in children using acid suppressants, research from The Netherlands has found.

A cohort study.using data from 84, 868 children exposed to proton pump inhibitors and/or H2-receptor antagonists and 325, 329 unexposed children found that current use of acid suppressants was associated with an increased risk of community acquired pneumonia, adjusted hazard ratio 2.05 (95% CI 1.90 to 2.22) and 1.80 (95% CI 1.67 to 1.94), respectively.

This risk increased with chronic use of acid suppressants, respiratory disease and remained increased for more than six months after discontinuation of therapy, the study investigators said in the European Respiratory Journal.

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