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Review Article

SARS-CoV-2 Infection, Inflammation, Immunonutrition, and Pathogenesis of COVID-19

[ Vol. 30 , Issue. 39 ]


Ligen Yu*, Mohd Khanapi Abd Ghani, Alessio Aghemo, Debmalya Barh, Matteo Bassetti, Fausto Catena, Gaetano Gallo, Ali Gholamrezanezhad, Mohammad Amjad Kamal, Amos Lal, Kamal Kant Sahu, Shailendra K. Saxena, Ugo Elmore, Farid Rahimi, Chiara Robba, Yuanlin Song, Zhengyuan Xia and Boxuan Yu   Pages 4390 - 4408 ( 19 )


The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has claimed millions of lives worldwide in the past two years. Fatalities among the elderly with underlying cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and diabetes have particularly been high. A bibliometrics analysis on author’s keywords was carried out, and searched for possible links between various coronavirus studies over the past 50 years, and integrated them. We found keywords like immune system, immunity, nutrition, malnutrition, micronutrients, exercise, inflammation, and hyperinflammation were highly related to each other. Based on these findings, we hypothesized that the human immune system is a multilevel super complex system, which employs multiple strategies to contain microorganism infections and restore homeostasis. It was also found that the behavior of the immune system is not able to be described by a single immunological theory. However, one main strategy is “self-destroy and rebuild”, which consists of a series of inflammatory responses: 1) active self-destruction of damaged/dysfunctional somatic cells; 2) removal of debris and cells; 3) rebuilding tissues. Thus, invading microorganisms’ clearance could be only a passive bystander response to this destroy-rebuild process. Microbial infections could be self-limiting and promoted as an indispensable essential nutrition for the vast number of genes existing in the microorganisms. The transient nutrition surge resulting from the degradation of the self-destroyed cell debris coupled with the existing nutrition state in the patient may play an important role in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Finally, a few possible coping strategies to mitigate COVID-19, including vaccination, are discussed.


COVID-19, cytokine storm, immunity, inflammatory response, malnutrition, phagocytosis, restrictive diet, self-limiting infection.


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