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The F/B ratio as a biomarker for inflammation in COVID-19 and T2D: Impact of metformin

Petakh et al., Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2023.114892
May 2023  
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Analysis of 115 pateints in Ukraine, providing evidence that the gut microbiome may play a role in the inflammatory response of COVID-19 patients, that the firmicutes/bacteroidetes ratio may be a potential biomarker for inflammation, and that metformin may affect the relationship between the firmicutes/bacteroidetes ratio and CRP levels.
Petakh et al., 15 May 2023, Ukraine, peer-reviewed, 3 authors. Contact:,
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The F/B ratio as a biomarker for inflammation in COVID-19 and T2D: Impact of metformin
Pavlo Petakh, Valentyn Oksenych, Aleksandr Kamyshnyi
Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2023.114892
The pandemic of COVID-19 has highlighted the intricate relationship between gut microbiome and overall health. Recent studies have shown that the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio in the gut microbiome may be linked to various diseases including COVID-19 and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Understanding the link between gut microbiome and these diseases is essential for developing strategies for prevention and treatment. In this study, 115 participants were recruited and divided into three groups: 1st group: T2D patients and healthy controls, 2nd group: COVID-19 patients with and without T2D, 3rd group: T2D patients with COVID-19 treated with or without metformin. Gut microbial composition at the phylum level was assessed using qRT-PCR with universal primers targeting the bacterial 16 S rRNA gene and specific primers for Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Data was analyzed using one-way ANOVA, logistic regression, and Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. The study found that the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes (F/B) was higher in patients with both T2D and COVID-19 compared to those with only T2D or COVID-19. Additionally, the F/B ratio was positively correlated with Creactive protein (CRP) in T2D and COVID-19 patients. The study also suggests that metformin treatment may affect this correlation. Logistic regression analysis showed that the F/B ratio was significantly associated with CRP. These findings suggest that the F/B ratio may be a potential biomarker for inflammation in T2D and COVID-19 patients and metformin treatment may have an effect on the correlation between F/B and CRP levels.
Conflicts of Interest The authors declare no conflict of interest. Declaration of Competing Interest The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
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