Precision nutrition to reset virus-induced human metabolic reprogramming and dysregulation (HMRD) in long-COVID.

Publication date: Mar 30, 2024

SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, is devoid of any metabolic capacity; therefore, it is critical for the viral pathogen to hijack host cellular metabolic machinery for its replication and propagation. This single-stranded RNA virus with a 29. 9 kb genome encodes 14 open reading frames (ORFs) and initiates a plethora of virus-host protein-protein interactions in the human body. These extensive viral protein interactions with host-specific cellular targets could trigger severe human metabolic reprogramming/dysregulation (HMRD), a rewiring of sugar-, amino acid-, lipid-, and nucleotide-metabolism(s), as well as altered or impaired bioenergetics, immune dysfunction, and redox imbalance in the body. In the infectious process, the viral pathogen hijacks two major human receptors, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)-2 and/or neuropilin (NRP)-1, for initial adhesion to cell surface; then utilizes two major host proteases, TMPRSS2 and/or furin, to gain cellular entry; and finally employs an endosomal enzyme, cathepsin L (CTSL) for fusogenic release of its viral genome. The virus-induced HMRD results in 5 possible infectious outcomes: asymptomatic, mild, moderate, severe to fatal episodes; while the symptomatic acute COVID-19 condition could manifest into 3 clinical phases: (i) hypoxia and hypoxemia (Warburg effect), (ii) hyperferritinemia (‘cytokine storm’), and (iii) thrombocytosis (coagulopathy). The mean incubation period for COVID-19 onset was estimated to be 5. 1 days, and most cases develop symptoms after 14 days. The mean viral clearance times were 24, 30, and 39 days for acute, severe, and ICU-admitted COVID-19 patients, respectively. However, about 25-70% of virus-free COVID-19 survivors continue to sustain virus-induced HMRD and exhibit a wide range of symptoms that are persistent, exacerbated, or new ‘onset’ clinical incidents, collectively termed as post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) or long COVID. PASC patients experience several debilitating clinical condition(s) with >200 different and overlapping symptoms that may last for weeks to months. Chronic PASC is a cumulative outcome of at least 10 different HMRD-related pathophysiological mechanisms involving both virus-derived virulence factors and a multitude of innate host responses. Based on HMRD and virus-free clinical impairments of different human organs/systems, PASC patients can be categorized into 4 different clusters or sub-phenotypes: sub-phenotype-1 (33. 8%) with cardiac and renal manifestations; sub-phenotype-2 (32. 8%) with respiratory, sleep and anxiety disorders; sub-phenotype-3 (23. 4%) with skeleto-muscular and nervous disorders; and sub-phenotype-4 (10. 1%) with digestive and pulmonary dysfunctions. This narrative review elucidates the effects of viral hijack on host cellular machinery during SARS-CoV-2 infection, ensuing detrimental effect(s) of virus-induced HMRD on human metabolism, consequential symptomatic clinical implications, and damage to multiple organ systems; as well as chronic pathophysiological sequelae in virus-free PASC patients. We have also provided a few evidence-based, human randomized controlled trial (RCT)-tested, precision nutrients to reset HMRD for health recovery of PASC patients.

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Concepts Keywords
Bioenergetics Acute
Nutrition Cellular
Thrombocytosis Clinical
Viral Covid


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease IDO pathogen
disease IDO host
disease IDO replication
pathway REACTOME Metabolism
disease IDO process
drug DRUGBANK Angiotensin II
disease MESH hyperferritinemia
disease MESH ‘cytokine storm
disease MESH thrombocytosis
disease MESH sequelae
disease MESH long COVID
disease IDO virulence
disease MESH anxiety disorders
disease VO organ

Original Article

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