Health Skin

Did skin microbes help reduce deaths in India?

PUNE: Scientists at four top institutes in Pune and Bengaluru are set to study the unique composition of skin and oral microorganisms of Indians, as well as their distinct immune responses, which could give clues into why the Covid death rate in India was relatively lower than in European and American populations.
Scientists spearheading the expansive study involving 800 volunteers said the relatively low Covid mortality in India perhaps had something to do with protection provided by the unique microbiota (community of micro organisms) on the skin, as well as in the oral and nasal cavities of Indians.
The study will also assess the long-term immunity, up to nine months, after Covishield/Covaxin vaccination in healthy adults. “In-depth immunogenicity data will improve the ability to make public health decisions on need and timing for booster shots,” Dr Anand Kawade, lead principal investigator of the study from Pune-based KEM Hospital Research Centre told TOI. The other three institutions involved in the study include Pune-based Symbiosis University Hospital and Research Centre, Bangalore Baptist Hospital and St John’s Research Institute in Bengaluru.
“The results can give clues into the role of this indigenous microbiome in protecting Indians from Covid mortalities,” Dr Kawade said.

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