Can Probiotics Help Overcome the Effects of Coronavirus?

Coronovirus is a virus that causes infection of the nose, sinuses and upper throat.  Normally coronaviruses are not life threatening.  As we are witnessing with the outbreak in China, some coronaviruses are indeed health threatening.

Several studies have looked at different probiotics’ effects on coronavirus.  Chai et al. (2013) found that Enterococcus faecium cells trapped viral particles from transmissible gastroenteritis virus in vitro.  Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus salivarius strains inhibited transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus in cells in vitro (Kumar et al., 2010).  Three other Lactobacilli strains were also effective in inhibiting transmissible gastroenteritis virus in vitro as well (ChangChun et al., 2013).

While there is no current antiviral agent effective against the latest coronavirus outbreak, data exists to suggest that various strains of probiotics may help lessen the infection and transmission rate within one’s own body.  The implication of this would be a less severe infection.  Probiotic consumption is worth noting in today’s environment of seemingly endless supply of potentially devastating infection sources.

Image Attribution: MERS Coronavirus Particle

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