The article entitled: “Increase of SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in faecal samples prompts for rethinking of SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 epidemiology ”1 was published in F1000Res in May 2021 by an Italian group with no COIs.
Our results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 replicates in vitro in bacterial growth medium, that the viral replication follows bacterial growth and it is influenced by the administration of specific antibiotics.
It’s really neat what they did. They inoculated nutrient broth (good for growing up bacteria) with poop from a SARSy person (A) and poop from a non-SARSy person (B). Yes, only two people, but cool nonetheless. Should be reproduced. They also inoculated the non-SARSy poop with a bit of supernatant (the liquid bit left over after centrifugation) from the SARSy sample (we can call this poopernatant) (B(A+)). They also checked the pellet that remained after centrifugation (C). They checked to see if they could detect increasing viral loads in any of the samples. They not only found increases in viral loads but the highest increases were found in the healthy poop sample inoculated with the poopernatant. No increase in the non-SARSy poop of course.
Here’s what they found in a nutshell.
Figure 1: SARS-CoV-2 RNA load variation over time. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283343/
But what they found after subjecting these samples to various antibiotics was even more interesting and very relevant to a debate now pending as to why antibiotic use was not par for the course in treatment regimens against COVID-19.
First screenshot showing what they found (I got these from the original pre-print posted on Zenodo 2 ):
Figure 2: Screenshot from article (preprint). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4088208
This means that they found (and yes, this NEEDS reproduction in many people - we all have different microbiomes) that certain antibiotics eliminated SARS-CoV-2 as measured by vanishing RNA viral loads.Pertinent questions:
Figure 3: Screenshot from article (preprint). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4088208
Those second and third questions are ones that many of us have been wondering about. That last question is interesting as well. #3tablets
I checked prescribing trends using openprescribing.net as per the drugs that were shown to reduce the viral load by 100%, namely: Metronidazole, Vancomycin, Amoxicillin and Azithromycin. I also checked out Cefixime; it was shown to reduce the viral load by 85%.
Figure 4: Effect of antibiotics on viral load. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8283343/
100% reduction in RNA viral load, eh? Seems pertinent.
Here are some prescribing data from https://openprescribing.net/chemical/ for the UK3 .
Figure 5: High-level prescribing trends of 5 antibiotics as per OpenPrescribing.net.
So it seems as though in the UK at least, that amoxicillin prescribing went down in 2020 and 2021. It also appears that Vancomycin is steadily being prescribed more. Also of note, there were two simultaneous peaks in prescribing for amoxicillin and azithromycin in January 2023. I wonder what happened there?
Again, there isn’t necessarily a link to these particular findings - ie: the poop paper versus UK prescribing - but again, there are some very important questions that need to be answered here. Namely, are COVID-19 deaths simply pneumonia deaths? I still don’t know the answer to that one, but with the results of this paper in hand, it makes me wonder:
Could the people who died ‘from’ ‘COVID-19’ have been saved if they’d simply been treated with a course of antibiotics?
Please inject your data and/or knowledge to this article - we always make these mini-investigations better when we combine our brains, data and efforts. I know there are people in the twitverse who have charts showing prescribing trends coinciding with the idea that antibiotics were indeed not being prescribed during the mangy COVID era - which, by the way, they are trying to force us back into. I would have sought them ought and posted them, but I can’t handle too much twitter. I find it to be a place of darkness.
Maybe SARS-2 does have ‘phage-like’ characteristics. I don’t know. But in any case, this paper provides more evidence to support the use of antibiotics during COVID-19 mania. It should have been included in the roster of treatments in the COVID-19 treatment protocols. If rundeathisnear made it, why not amoxicillin?
1 Petrillo M, Brogna C, Cristoni S, Querci M, Piazza O, Van den Eede G. Increase of SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in faecal samples prompts for rethinking of SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 epidemiology. F1000Res. 2021 Jul 1;10:370. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.52540.3. PMCID: PMC8283343.
2 Petrillo, Mauro, Brogna, Carlo, Cristoni, Simone, Querci, Maddalena, Piazza, Ornella, & Van den Eede, Guy. (2020). Increase of SARS-CoV-2 RNA load in faecal samples prompts for rethinking of SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 epidemiology (Version v1). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4088208
3 OpenPrescribing.net, Bennett Institute for Applied Data Science, University of Oxford, 2023