SARS-CoV-2 does not have a strong effect on the nasopharyngeal microbial composition

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PMID PubMed identifier for scientific articles.
DOI Digital object identifier for electronic documents.
Braun T, Halevi S, Hadar R, Efroni G, Glick Saar E, Keller N, Amir A, Amit S, Haberman Y
Scientific reports
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has rapidly spread around the world, impacting the lives of many individuals. Growing evidence suggests that the nasopharyngeal and respiratory tract microbiome are influenced by various health and disease conditions, including the presence and the severity of different viral disease. To evaluate the potential interactions between Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the nasopharyngeal microbiome. Microbial composition of nasopharyngeal swab samples submitted to the clinical microbiology lab for suspected SARS-CoV-2 infections was assessed using 16S amplicon sequencing. The study included a total of 55 nasopharyngeal samples from 33 subjects, with longitudinal sampling available for 12 out of the 33 subjects. 21 of the 33 subjects had at least one positive COVID-19 PCR results as determined by the clinical microbiology lab. Inter-personal variation was the strongest factor explaining > 75% of the microbial variation, irrespective of the SARS-CoV-2 status. No significant effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the nasopharyngeal microbial community was observed using multiple analysis methods. These results indicate that unlike some other viruses, for which an effect on the microbial composition was noted, SARS-CoV-2 does not have a strong effect on the nasopharynx microbial habitants.

Experiment 1

Needs review

Curated date: 2021/06/18

Curator: Claregrieve1

Revision editor(s): Claregrieve1, WikiWorks, Peace Sandy


Location of subjects
Host species Species from which microbiome was sampled. Contact us to have more species added.
Homo sapiens
Body site Anatomical site where microbial samples were extracted from according to the Uber Anatomy Ontology
Nasopharynx Nasenrachenraum,Epipharynx,Nasal part of pharynx,Pars nasalis pharyngis,Rhinopharynx,Nasopharynx,nasopharynx
Condition The experimental condition / phenotype studied according to the Experimental Factor Ontology
COVID-19 2019 novel coronavirus,2019 novel coronavirus infection,2019-nCoV,2019-nCoV infection,beta-CoV,beta-CoVs,betacoronavirus,coronavirus disease 2019,SARS-coronavirus 2,SARS-CoV-2,severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infectious disease,β-coronavirus,β-CoV,β-CoVs,COVID-19,cOVID-19
Group 0 name Corresponds to the control (unexposed) group for case-control studies
COVID-19 negative patients
Group 1 name Corresponds to the case (exposed) group for case-control studies
COVID-19 positive patients
Group 1 definition Diagnostic criteria applied to define the specific condition / phenotype represented in the case (exposed) group
SARS-CoV-2 presence by RT-PCR
Group 0 sample size Number of subjects in the control (unexposed) group
Group 1 sample size Number of subjects in the case (exposed) group

Lab analysis

Sequencing type
16S variable region One or more hypervariable region(s) of the bacterial 16S gene
Sequencing platform Manufacturer and experimental platform used for quantifying microbial abundance

Statistical Analysis

Data transformation Data transformation applied to microbial abundance measurements prior to differential abundance testing (if any).
relative abundances
Statistical test
Mann-Whitney (Wilcoxon)
Significance threshold p-value or FDR threshold used for differential abundance testing (if any)
MHT correction Have statistical tests be corrected for multiple hypothesis testing (MHT)?

Alpha Diversity

Pielou Quantifies how equal the community is numerically
Shannon Estimator of species richness and species evenness: more weight on species richness