This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:

fact-checked

trusted source

proofread

Alcohol abuse increases sensitivity of coronavirus infection

Alcohol abuse increases sensitivity of coronavirus infection
Credit: American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2023). DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00381.2022

Lung airway cells of people with alcohol use disorder developed "enhanced inflammation" three days after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta and the University of Georgia.

An analysis of found that uninfected airway cells from people with ("AUD") had mild pro-inflammatory characteristics that were amplified after SARS-CoV-2 infection when compared to cells not exposed to excessive alcohol use ("control"). In addition, control cells infected with the virus showed a protective response not seen in the AUD cells.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology. It has been chosen as an APSselect article for December.

To achieve their findings, researchers isolated cells from the inside of the airway of people with and without alcohol use disorder. Next, the cells were cultured to create a model airway epithelium. Gene expression was analyzed by next-generation RNA sequencing to measure the effect of chronic alcohol exposure on airway cells. The research team then infected the cells with SARS-CoV-2 and measured the production of inflammatory factors.

Credit: American Physiological Society

People with alcohol use disorder who also have COVID-19 have higher rates of hospitalization and death. This indicates that chronic alcohol use puts people at risk for increased severity of COVID-19 related illness.

By conducting this study, Michael Koval, Ph.D., of Emory's Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and his team determined that alcohol abuse causes lung airway cells to over-react to SARS-CoV-2 infection, which may increase the severity of early stages of COVID-19.

More information: Kristen F. Easley et al, Chronic alcohol use primes bronchial cells for altered inflammatory response and barrier dysfunction during SARS-CoV-2 infection, American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2023). DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00381.2022

Citation: Alcohol abuse increases sensitivity of coronavirus infection (2023, December 12) retrieved 24 April 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2023-12-alcohol-abuse-sensitivity-coronavirus-infection.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Long-term alcohol use is a potential risk factor for COVID-19 complications

0 shares

Feedback to editors