Review of the impact of probiotics in the antiviral response in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic

This review is based on the correlation that has been previously reported between SRAS-CoV-2 disease progression and the composition of the gut microbiota demonstrating that some patients with COVID-19 showed intestinal microbial dysbiosis, with a decrease in cell numbers of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

In this context, this review is focused on the potential of probiotics and their metabolites to intervene with the process of virus infection. Probiotics, by the production of bacteriocins participate to the control of microbial and viral infections, though the modulation of gut microbiota, the direct antiviral properties of bacteriocins or by the direct modulation of immune system. Mechanisms and example of such effects are presented in this review.

In conclusion, probiotics and their metabolites clearly have considerable potential to effect “germ warfare” against disease-causing viruses and also to be key allies in efforts to reduce the usage of toxic virucidal chemical agents.

Tiwari SK, Dicks LMT, Popov IV, Karaseva A, Ermakov AM, Suvorov A, Tagg JR, Weeks R, Chikindas ML. Probiotics at War Against Viruses: What Is Missing From the Picture? Front Microbiol. 2020 Aug 20;11:1877. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.01877. PMID: 32973697; PMCID: PMC7468459.