Alderson Broaddus University professor publishes manuscript

The Journal of Pathology & Translational Medicine recently informed Dr. Amitabha Ray, Associate Professor of Anatomical Science at Alderson Broaddus University, of their acceptance of his manuscript entitled Infections and immunity: Associations with obesity and related metabolic disorders.

“Management of lifestyle including prevention of obesity can avoid both metabolic diseases and critical stages of infection,” explains Ray. The COVID-19 pandemic and the story of infections and deaths in the United States was the catalyst for this research. COVID-19 infections and death rate statistics centered around those with metabolic diseases, especially in persons over the age of 60 with underlying health problems such as diabetes and obesity.

A publication date by The Journal of Pathology & Translational Medicine has not been released to date.

Abstract of the paper:

About one-fourth of the global population is either overweight or obese, which increases the risk of insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases, and infections. The outcome in these conditions is unsatisfactory, probably due to the adverse effects on the immune system. In obesity, immune cells and adipocytes produce an excess amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines that may play a significant role in disease progression. In the recent COVID-19 pandemic, important pathological characteristics, like the involvement of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, endothelial injury, and pro-inflammatory cytokine release, are also connected with obesity and associated sequelae such as insulin resistance/type-2 diabetes and hypertension. This pathological connection may explain the severity of COVID-19 in patients with metabolic disorders. Many reports also recorded an association between type-2 diabetes and persistent viral infections. Similarly, diabetes favors the growth of various microorganisms, including protozoal pathogens, as well as opportunistic bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, diabetes is a risk factor for a number of prion-like diseases. It is interesting to note that helminths have a strange relationship with type-2 diabetes. Helminthiasis may reduce the pro-inflammatory state, but on the other hand, may be associated with type-2 diabetes or even neoplastic processes. The pro-inflammatory state of our body is accompanied by different immunity-linked cells and inflammatory markers. Several studies documented altered circulating levels of neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes in obesity. These changes probably modify vaccine effectiveness. Timely monitoring of inflammatory markers (e.g., C-reactive protein) and energy homeostasis markers (e.g., leptin) could be helpful in preventing many diseases.