COVID-19 Bacterial Genus Revealed? Is This Bacteria Increasing the Virulence of COVID-19?

New research being published on the COVID-19 coronavirus has revealed that a specific genus of bacteria may be responsible for some of the characteristic markers of this viral infection. There have been several unique features of 2019-nCoV such as: 

  • Two distinct phases of the virus with more typical viral infection symptoms accompanying phase 1 (higher fever, fatigue, swollen glands, headache, myalgias, nausea, abdominal discomfort with some diarrhea, loss of appetite, etc.) and more typical bacterial infections accompanying phase 2 (respiratory distress, low grade fever, pneumonia).
  • A period of “feeling better” for a few days in between phase 1 and phase 2. 
  • Inability, in some cases, to detect the presence of COVID-19 even in a sick patient
  • Long incubation period in some people and long incubation that suddenly and virulently appears in the lungs. 
  • Claims of higher virulence in non-western populations.

Initially, doctors (both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) doctors and allopathic doctors) were targeting only the virus in their attempts to treat COVID-19, and were having little, if any, success. In my last article, I described how Chinese medicine doctors began to discover that these two phases of the virus needed differing treatment approaches and differing means of immune support. In changing their methodology accordingly, they began to have some tremendous success in helping patients recover. 

Now, many allopathic doctors are attempting to treat both the viral and the bacterial aspects (2 phases) of this novel coronavirus, with varying degrees of success. One method they have been experimenting with is the use of hydroxycholorquine sulfate and azithromycin (Z-Pak). From the best research I have been able to do on this, it seems that this combo helps some people but makes others worse. Some doctors are adding zinc sulfate to this mix, but the success of this approach has not yet been proven. 

The newest information I have received is that a bacteria from the Prevotella genus may be responsible for this “two-pronged attack” and for the virulence of the pneumonia in the second phase of the infection, as well as the long incubation period. Before, we dive into how this Prevotella bacteria may be a factor in coronavirus virulence, let’s first take a look at what we know about this bacteria.


What is Prevotella Bacteria and What Do We Know About Its Involvement in Pneumonia? 


Image of Prevotella intermedia

Prevotella species are anaerobic Gram-negative bacteria of the Bacterioidetes phylum. They are extensively present throughout the human body, and are only rarely involved in infections. There are many strains of the Prevotella species and only a few of them have been reported in infections, including abscesses, chronic infections, and anaerobic pneumonia. In recent, years, however, new research has linked increased Prevotella abundance to inflammatory disorders, such as periodontitis, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial vaginosis, gut dysbiosis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), as well as cystic fibrosis.

Prevotella intermedia present in periodontal disease was found to induce increased host cell infiltration and drive neutrophil recruitment via T helper type 17 (Th17) immune responses. Chronic activation of the Th17 pathway may facilitate tissue destruction because the recruited neutrophils are unable to clear the bacteria and resolve tissue inflammation. Most of the Th17 cells present in the body reside in the tissues that interface with the microbial environment such as the intestinal and respiratory tracts. Therefore, this Th17 activation may explain the unique combination of intestinal and respiratory symptoms present in many COVID-19 infections. 

Studies also show that Prevotella predominantly activates Toll‐like receptor 2, which leads to production of Th17‐polarizing cytokines by antigen‐presenting cells, including interleukin‐23 (IL‐23) and IL‐1. Furthermore, Prevotella stimulates epithelial cells (cells that line the gut and respiratory tract) to produce IL‐8, IL‐6 and CCL20, which can promote mucosal Th17 immune responses and neutrophil recruitment. Prevotella‐induced mucosal inflammation leads to systemic dissemination of inflammatory mediators, bacteria and bacterial products, which in turn may affect systemic disease outcomes.(1) 


Translated: Prevotella bacteria have been shown to promote an inflammatory process that can lead to a cytokine cascade or cytokine storm.(2) 


Doctors on the front lines are reporting that neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio count greater than 3.5 is one of the highest predictors of poor outcomes and that elevated IL-6 is the indicator of the cytokine storm, demonstrating that what the doctors are seeing in actual COVID-19 patients is in line with what we see in the studies mentioned above about the actions of Prevotella in other infections/diseases.

Prevotella in HIV has been reported to be a driver of persistent inflammation in the gut that leads to mucosal dysfunction and systemic inflammation (two hallmark signs of COVID-19 in the respiratory tract). 

Prevotella intermedia found in the airway specimens of cystic fibrosis patients revealed the pathogenic potential of P. Intermedia in the respiratory tract and demonstrated that the extracellular toxins of this bacteria may be cytotoxic for human alveolar type II cells (airway epithelial cells) and neutrophils. 

In mice, P. intermedia has been shown to induce severe bacteremic pneumococcal pneumonia as well as enhanced pneumococcal adhesion to lower airway cells. In this study, P. intermedia was shown to stimulate PAFR in mice. New evidence suggests that PAFR is a major epithelial receptor used by Streptococcus pneumoniae to invade epithelial cells.

When P. intermedia was present in mice pneumonia, significant increases in inflammatory cytokines were observed indicating a more severe bacteremia than S. pneumoniae-infected mice without P. intermedia. Pathological examination of the lungs of S. pneumoniae-infected mice with P. intermedia showed severe bronchopneumonia with massive hemorrhaging. All of the S. pneumoniae-infected mice with P. intermedia died within 3 days. Their survival rates were significantly lower than the S. pneumoniae-infected mice without the presence of P. intermedia. 

Image of pneumonia in lungs lung abscess

This combination of Streptococcus and Prevotella anaerobes have been frequently isolated from cats and dogs with aspiration pneumonia, foreign body pneumonia, and pyothorax with abscess formation. This combination appears to promote development of severe bronchopneumonia with multifocal abscessation (pictured above), pleural rupture, pyothorax and pneumothorax. 

Prevotella Bacteria Is More Abundant in Populations Consuming Non-Western Diets 

Bacteroides is most commonly found in individuals in Westernized countries, while Prevotella is common in individuals in non-Western countries or groups consuming non-western diets (such as Italy).

These two bacteria are not necessarily good or bad (unless a COVID-19 bacteriophage is aiming at one or the other) -  they are simply the dominant species in the gut microbiomes in different populations around the world. In one particular study, all of the individuals who were residing in Asia had very high proportions of the non-Western Prevotella

However, immediately after immigrants moved to the U.S., the Bacteroides strains started to replace their native Prevotella strains. After about a decade, first-generation immigrants were no longer dominated by Prevotella, but, instead, by the U.S.-associated Bacteroides (5).

Africans also have an abundance of Prevotella in their microbiome (see image below). 

High Prevotella in African Microbiome

 

This finding can certainly provide a plausible explanation as to the higher virulence of this COVID-19 virus in Asia and Italy, as the mediterranean diet also increases the presence of Prevotella bacteria. We may yet see more virulence in Africa, too. 

 

Working Hypothesis About Prevotella Involvement in Progression of COVID-19 Infection


Since Prevotella is showing up in all the sequencing data from Wuhan, China and has also been found in Hong Kong and Wisconisin Nanopore and Illumina sequences, and is present in huge amounts in patients from both China and Hong Kong, researchers are trying to figure out how this bacteria is involved in the COVID-19 viral infection. Further, coronaviruses were being edited in Wuhan using CRISPR (3) at the exact NTerminal of the spike protein. These changes in the spike protein of nCoV make it very different from other coronaviruses and some researchers suspect these changes may have enabled the nCoV virus to infect both bacterial and human cells. 

This means that if the nCov virus works as a bacteriophage (a virus that parasitizes a bacterium by infecting it and reproducing inside it), it can “infect” the abundance of Prevotella bacteria cells present in the human body, and the virus can exist undetected inside of the bacteria. Further, the long incubation period may be happening when the virus is in its lysogenic cycle inside the bacteria (4). 

Thus, we can now see how all of the unique characteristics of COVID-19 mentioned above can be explained by this hypothesis that 2019-nCoV is a bacteriophage that invades Prevotella. 


How much Prevotella Bacteria Do You Have in Your Body? 


How much Prevotella do you have in your body? Certain activities, food, supplements, and conditions seem to either increase or inhibit the numbers of this bacteria in our bodies and in our respiratory tract. (Keep in mind that having way too little Prevotella can result in disease states just as much as having way too much - you will see examples of this below).


Certain Strains of Gut Bacteria May Inhibit Prevotella

The gut bacteria Bifidobacterium and Lactobacilli together, can also help inhibit Prevotella.

This gut microbiota "digests" many botanicals to produce absorbable active small molecules  which enter the body and have active pharmacological effects. For example, here is a list of several “digested” botanicals and some of their key functions:

  • Baicalein has been found to significantly suppress cortical proinflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), and modulate the intestinal microbiome.
  • Quercetin inhibits P. Intermedia and several strains of Streptococcus. 
  • Eriodictyol which has been hypothesized to limit the binding of COVID-19 with the ACE2 receptor, may potentially restrict infection and inhibit the Streptococcal and Prevotella bacteria.
  • Triterpenes have been shown in vitro to suppress several markers of inflammation including interleukin-6 (IL-6).
  • Rhein polyphenol has been found active against P. intermedia and Streptococcus.

Other Surprising Findings in the Prevotella Research

While many have thought that those with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) would be at greater risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19, there is some indication in my research that this may not be the case. Prevotella abundance is actually REDUCED already within the lung microbiota of patients with asthma and COPD. In mice, induction of COPD-like lung inflammation and pathology was found to DECREASE Prevotella abundance. This could mean that there are actually fewer bacteria in the lungs of people with asthma and COPD for COVID-19 to infect, thereby reducing the virulence of the COVID-19 infection in these individuals. The same may also apply to those with Hashimoto's thyroiditis and autism).

Here is one anecdotal support of this theory from my Twitter feed: 

Prevotella role in COPD

 

Another unusual finding is that while nearly all natural health practitioners tout the importance of Vitamin D for support of the immune system with very good reason, in this particular case, I would like to provide this food for thought: lower numbers of vitamin D have been shown to be linked with lower number of Prevotella bacteria.[Again, can you link to a study, here?] Some studies show that those with the highest vitamin D intake had the most abundant Prevotella. So, while we know that adequate levels of vitamin D are important, it might be worth considering whether taking excessive Vitamin D is a prudent choice during this outbreak.


Notes:

    1. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a highly proinflammatory cytokine produced by multiple cell types, including epithelial cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, endothelial cells and B cells. IL-8, also known as neutrophil chemotactic factor, has two primary functions. It induces chemotaxis in target cells, primarily neutrophils but also other granulocytes, causing them to migrate toward the site of infection.
    2. During the so-called “cytokine storm,” a potentially fatal immune reaction induced by hyperactivation of T cells, a major boost in IL-6 production is observed but without comparable production of other inflammatory cytokines.
    3. CRISPR is a technology that can be used to edit genes and, as such, will likely change the world. The essence of CRISPR is simple: it's a way of finding a specific bit of DNA inside a cell. After that, the next step in CRISPR gene editing is usually to alter that piece of DNA.
    4. The lysogenic cycle (Figure 3), sometimes referred to as temperate or non-virulent infection, does not kill the host cell, instead using it as a refuge where it exists in a dormant state.
    5. Those who eat plenty of protein and animal fats, typical of Western diet, have predominantly Bacteroides bacteria, while for those who consume more carbohydrates, especially fibre, the Prevotella species predominate.
    6. Rigorous statistical tests with multiple testing corrections showed significantly lower abundances of the genera Prevotella, Coprococcus, and unclassified Veillonellaceae in autistic samples.

     

    References:

     Alexander N. Shikov, Olga N. Pozharitskaya, Valery G. Makarov, Hildebert Wagner, ... Michael Heinrich. Medicinal Plants of the Russian Pharmacopoeia; Their History and Applications. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 154, Issue 33 July 2014, Pages 481-536.

    Casey T. Weaver, Charles O. Elson, Lynette A. Fouser, and Jay K. Kolls. Annu Rev Pathol. 2013 January 24; 8: 477–512. doi:10.1146/annurev-pathol-011110-130318

    Chakraborty, Sandeep. Preprint: The 2019 Wuhan outbreak is caused by the bacteria Prevotella, 2020 February 3.

    COVID-19 Medical Treat & Cure Team Central Directive Group of China. Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Scheme for Severe and Critical Cases (Trial Version 3, Mar.14, 2020)

    GB Huffnagle, RP Dickson, and NW Lukacs.Mucosal Immunol. 2017 March ; 10(2): 299–306. doi:10.1038/mi.2016.108.

    Gut Microbiota, A Potential New Target for Chinese Herbal Medicines in Treating Diabetes Mellitus. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine / 2019 / Article / Tab 2

    Harvey KL, Jarocki VM, Charles IG, Djordjevic SP. The Diverse Functional Roles of Elongation Factor Tu (EF-Tu) in Microbial PathogenesisFront Microbiol. 2019;10:2351. Published 2019 Oct 24. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.02351

    Immigrant Microbiome Project. Knights Lab, University on Minesota (Ongoing).

    J, F. , V, B. , V, C. , L, P. , M, P. , & TH, F. (2017). Impact of Mushroom Nutrition on Microbiota and Potential for Preventative HealthJournal of Food and Nutrition Research5(4), 226-233.

    Kang D-W, Park JG, Ilhan ZE, Wallstrom G, LaBaer J, Adams JB, et al. (2013) Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children. PLoS ONE 8(7): e68322. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068322

    Karygianni L, Cecere M, Skaltsounis AL, et al. High-level antimicrobial efficacy of representative Mediterranean natural plant extracts against oral microorganisms. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:839019. doi:10.1155/2014/839019

    Kumar M, Prasad SK, Hemalatha S. A current update on the phytopharmacological aspects of Houttuynia cordata ThunbPharmacogn Rev. 2014;8(15):22–35. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.125525

    Larsen JM. The immune response to Prevotella bacteria in chronic inflammatory disease. Immunology. 2017;151(4):363–374. doi:10.1111/imm.12760

    Lee, Dr. Andy (Translated to English by Dr. James Yeh). TCM Treatments of COVID-19, March 7, 2020.

    Li GaoJiaqi LiYuzhi ZhouXudong HuangXuemei Qin, and Guanhua Du. Effects of Baicalein on Cortical Proinflammatory Cytokines and the Intestinal Microbiome in Senescence Accelerated Mouse Prone 8. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 2018 9 (7), 1714-1724.

    Lyu M, Wang YF, Fan GW, Wang XY, Xu SY, Zhu Y. Balancing Herbal Medicine and Functional Food for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiometabolic Diseases through Modulating Gut Microbiota. Front Microbiol. 2017;8:2146. Published 2017 Nov 8. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.02146

    Muhammad FM, Ahsan M and Abdul W. Quercetin- A Mini Review. Crimson Publishers. 

    Sherrard LJ, Graham KA, McGrath SJ, et al. Antibiotic resistance in Prevotella species isolated from patients with cystic fibrosisJ Antimicrob Chemother. 2013;68(10):2369–2374. doi:10.1093/jac/dkt191

    Signoretto C, Marchi A, Bertoncelli A, et al. Effects of mushroom and chicory extracts on the physiology and shape of Prevotella intermedia, a periodontopathogenic bacterium. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:635348. doi:10.1155/2011/635348

    Smith, Micholas; Smith, Jeremy C. (2020): Repurposing Therapeutics for COVID-19: Supercomputer-Based Docking to the SARS-CoV-2 Viral Spike Protein and Viral Spike Protein-Human ACE2 Interface. ChemRxiv. Preprint. https://doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv.11871402.v3

    Sykes, Jane E. Anaerobic Bacterial Infections: Pneumonia and Pyothorax in Canine and Feline Infectious Diseases, 2014.

    Wu, Gary D. Diet, the Gut Microbiota and its Metabolome in Human Health and Disease. University of Pennsylvania, PennCHOP Microbiome Program. 

    Xu, Y., Xie, Z., Wang, H. et al. Bacterial Diversity of Intestinal Microbiota in Patients with Substance Use Disorders Revealed by 16S rRNA Gene Deep SequencingSci Rep 7, 3628 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-03706-9

    XuedongAnQiBaoShaDiYiruZhaoShenghuiZhaoHaiyuZhangFengmeiLian. The Interaction Between the Gut Microbiota and Herbal Medicines. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Volume 118, October 2019, 109252

    Yang Y, Islam MS, Wang J, Li Y, Chen X. Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Patients Infected with 2019-New Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2): A Review and PerspectiveInt J Biol Sci 2020; 16(10):1708-1717. doi:10.7150/ijbs.45538. 

    Yueqiong NiJun LiGianni Panagiotou. A Molecular-Level Landscape of Diet-Gut Microbiome Interactions: Toward Dietary Interventions Targeting Bacterial Genes. 

    6 comments

    Mistakenly left off video

    Please load link below into YOUR BROWER

    Mark Rothkranz / What to Stock and Eat for HEALTH

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpr5WJRM9Yc

    Imhotep April 02, 2020

    Follow Up:

    Chris Cuomo, MSNBC Anchor before Govenor Andrew Cuomo announced to the World his little brother Chris has been diagnosed with COVID – 19 inquired DR. FAUCI concerning
    taking Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

    Dr Fauci response “Vitamin C wouldn’t hurt nor Vitamin D because they’re Natural” the Culprit is attempting to treat the Virus with Medicine, to include, over the counter medication.

    As a Raw Foodist, Plant Based LifeStyle I need Vitamin D 3 (cholecalciferol).

    Please note all Vitamin D is Fat Soluable which is stored in the liver and should not be taken more than 2 or 3 times per week not MEGA DOSES in large quantities.

    My D 3 choice is a VEGAN Source made from SunFlower Seed Oil, 5000 IU.

    Note: Non Vegan Sources of Vitamin D 3 are made from Lanolin, (sheep wool).

    Those that are not VEGAN or RAW Foodist more than likely do not need Vitamin D 3 which you can get from Meat, Fish, Eggs, and Dairy products which I don’t recommend because dairy causes inflammation and joint pain.

    Mark Rothkranz on COVID – 19 / RAW FOOD Guru, Speaking Truth to Power

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEYlYXh58X8

    The Part of True Health Nobody Wants to Think About

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL3KzIsZwwg

    " It is far more IMPORTANT to KNOW what PERSON the DISEASE has
    than what DISEASE the PERSON has"

    - Imhotep
    -————————————————————-

    IMHOTEP = Deciple

    Daoist IMMORTAL Sage

    Imhotep April 02, 2020

    I have been following Cliff High I think he is my savior on many level! I have been taking C60 for some time now. Also Chaga Mushroom teas vitamin c and I was taking high vitamin d which I will stop now. I will order your herbs as well. My family will start Keto diet to help keep bacteria low. Should I continue C60.

    Kimberly Touhey April 02, 2020

    am blood type A… as are alot of Asians…was stung by very toxic wasp/hornet summer of 2018…nearly died that day about 6 hours later from cytokine storm…vomiting/diarrhea/legpower gone/intense itch/blood capillary tree litup in consciousness/…am diabetic and now only better from wholefood plant-based diet…have been in fight for quality of life since that exceptional wasp sting 2 years ago…thank you for this interesting research…also thanks to clif high drink with alcohol…flfe.net team’s remedy with oliveleaf etc. Both recipes have helped lessen viral load….my understanding is that we are living in extraordinary times of cosmic adjustments that have decreased available oxygen on this planet since my youth in the seventies…plants in the home help with this…also ozoneators and air purifiers for the machine-minded…ourspirit.com could be helpful on other levels

    Carolyn Nelson April 02, 2020

    Sharing with all medical friends.
    You are a guardian angel❤

    Michele April 02, 2020

    LISA:

    Many thanks for your WONDERFUL and ASTUTE Research.

    My Comments are not a Critique of your Researh just an Observatiionfrom someone 64 years young whom has lived an EASTERN LIFESTYLEsince I was sixteen (16) embracing DAOISM, Qigong, Tai Chi, Martial Arts,to include Daoist Tonic Herbalism.

    Notwithstanding, I can can pass or a Man 30 yrs.his junior.

    Less I forget at fourteen or fifteen years of age the 1st Book I read on Natural Medicine and Raw Food LifeStyle was “BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR” by Anne Wigmore

    Understandably YOUR Research is Constantly Changing, however, ALL INFORMATION
    is Pertinent.

    As a RAW FOODIST, Plant Based LifeStyle and Uncooked nearly10 years and VEGAN since EARLY 1970s the Research you’re showing concerning VEGETARIANS at RISK, I believe is misleadingat BEST.

    The “SAD DIET” Standard American Diet is what’s KILLING the POPULACE,SUGAR, WHITE FLOUR and PRE-PROCESSED Chemically Laden Foodswhich are more Addictive than DRUGS i.e. Heroin, Cocaine, to include, OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATION.

    The SAD Diet is 85% to 95% of the American Population, one only has to look at the SUPERMARKET HOARDING to make this ASSESSMENT of what’s selling,
    ALL PRE-PACKAGEDPROCESSES FOODS.

    1. JUNK FOOD / Ice Cream / Cookies / Cakes  /  Pies

    2. ALL CHEMICALLY LADEN FROZEN FOOD  / Pizza / others to numerous to mention

    3. MILK  /  Pasteurized Milk (Cooked) which turn Milk into White Plastic Pus void of Nutritional Value.

    4. SODA  /  High Fructose Corn Syrup noted by Dr.Mercola as a Silent Killer of Health.

    5. Orange Juice  /  Pasteurized (Cooked)which turn the SUGAR in Orange Juice to White Sugar which causes Diabetes.

    6. Other Prepackage Garbage to numerous to mention.

    What they are not Hoarding which is Life Sustaining:

    0: Vitamins and Minerals

    1. Produce: Fruits and Vegetables
    1a. Lemon and Limes to Alkalize the Body  = Disease cannot Live in an Alkalize Body

    3. Probiotics: Kombucha / Kimchi / SauerKraut  / Probiotic Water

    Others to numerous to mention !!!

    I will go on to say at some Whole Foods SEA WEED is impossible to obtain now,
    ALL SOLD OUT !!!!!!

    In some circles ALL SUPPLIES of Chrondrus Crispus, (SEA MOSS) is ALL SOLD OUT !!!!!!

    Having cited the above EACH of US receiving your Research and emails will induce their OWN Protocols based on Experienceand Teaching.

    Mine is Daoism based on 8000 years of Research as a Preventive Measure, to include, Qigong Standing Meditations moving ENERGY to CLEAR TOXINS from the Body.

    On the FLIP SIDE, I have members of my Family who have not EMBRACED my LifeStyle whom EAT (SAD) Standard American Diet I am Protecting their IMMUNE SYSTEM with Daoist Tonic Herbs in particular Chi Tonics.

    Ron Teeguarden wrote about a PANDEMIC within his Publication many years ago describing a Universal VIRIAL OUTBREAK, to include a list of Herbs to take as a Preventive Measure in DragonTime Magazine, circa 2007.

    Those Interested should CONTACT Ron Teeguarden for a copy of that Publication.

    PLEASE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT PLUM DRAGON HERBS, they are the only ENTITY with
    COJONES DISSEMINATING this information.

    ALL OTHER KNOWN ENTITIES ARE SILENT due to CONTENT and CONTEXTUAL WARNINGS by FDA.

    “There is ONLY ONE DISEASE” = “MUCUS”

    Dr. SEBI
    -——————————————————
    Thank You For Your Time and Attention.

    Best

    IMHOTEP

    Daoist IMMORTAL Sage

    Imhotep April 02, 2020

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