The project "Gut microbiota, "Spark and Flame of COVID-19 disease" led by Conceição Calhau, researcher and professor at CEDOC - NOVA Medical School and Cintesis, received a €30,000 funding from FCT, under the scope of RESEARCH4COVID19 and was also awarded the Biocodex research grant, of €20,000.
Within the scope of “Gut microbiota, "Spark and Flame" of COVID-19 disease" project, the researchers will try to understand whether the immune and metabolic responses of infected individuals with the new coronavirus depend on other microorganisms that inhabit human intestines or not.
Moreover, the researchers will investigate if obesity, diabetes or hypertension patients are more susceptible to COVID-19. This hypothesis arose considering that these diseases are associated to a dysfunction of the gut microbiota.
Conceição Calhau defends that this association occurs not only because of the symbiotic relationship between the gut microbiota and the immunological function, but also because of the process that allows the new coronavirus to break into human cells.