Early Antibiotics for COVID-19 Can Cut Recovery Time

Authors say findings show role for microbiome and development of long COVID symptoms
Early Antibiotics for COVID-19 Can Cut Recovery Time
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MONDAY, March 25, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- A significant reduction in recovery time is seen among COVID-19 patients who receive early antibiotic treatment, according to a study published online March 20 in the Journal of Medical Virology.

Carlo Brogna, M.D., from the Craniomed Group Srl. Research Facility in Bresso, Italy, and colleagues studied the impact of specific antibiotics on recovery from COVID-19. The analysis included 211 COVID-19 patients (59 vaccinated).

The researchers found that early initiation of antibiotic therapy resulted in a significantly shorter recovery time (crude hazard ratio [HR], 4.74). Simultaneous use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs did not shorten duration and in a multivariate analysis prolonged the disease. Longer recovery time was also seen in a subgroup of 42 patients receiving corticosteroids for a median of three days (crude HR, 0.542). Early initiation of antibiotics was associated with maintaining higher levels of blood oxygen saturation. Furthermore, a significant number of patients who received antibiotics in the first three days of acute illness for a duration of seven days did not develop long COVID.

"The gut microbiome's bacterial composition is highly dynamic, capable of producing proteins that interact with host cells, potentially triggering detrimental mechanisms," the authors write. "This discovery implies a potential correlation between long COVID and a bacterial by-product within the microbiome, suggesting potential treatment alterations involving antibiotics and probiotics."

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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