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New Emirates Medical Journal

Volume 3, 2 Issues, 2022
ISSN: 0250-6882 (Online)
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Open Access Article

SARS-CoV-2: Possible Factors Contributing to Serious Consequences of COVID-19?

Ruqaiyyah Siddiqui1, Mohammad R. Mungroo2, Mohamed Y. Abouleish1, Naveed A. Khan2, *
1 College of Arts and Sciences, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE


Background and Objectives:

The recently discovered coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 has infected over 170 million people (as of 31th May 2021) since it was elucidated in December 2019. The number of SARS-CoV-2 cases and mortality rates vary from country to country, and unfortunately, the United Kingdom ranks in the top 5 countries with the most deaths as of 31th May 2021.


A literature review was conducted during May 2021 to examine if factors such as gut microbiome, ethnic diversity, high cancer rates, obesity and alcohol consumption may have contributed to the higher number of cases and mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 in the UK.


The western diet is associated with a less diverse gut microbiome, as well as obesity, and contributes to the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, people belonging to Black and South Asian ethnic groups in the UK have an increased risk of death due to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Given the high number of cancer patients in the UK, as well as excess consumption of alcohol, higher mortality rates were observed, most likely due to people possessing a less diverse gut microbiome and/or weakened immune system.


Targeting the gut microbiome in developing potential therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 is of value, and further studies are needed to understand the specific role of the gut microbiome.

Keywords: Severe acute respiratory syndrome, Coronavirus, Cancer, Ethnicity, Obesity, Gut microbiome.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2022
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
First Page: 12
Last Page: 16
Publisher Id: nemj-3-12
DOI: 10.2174/02666211213150918

Article History:

Received Date: 08/06/2021
Revision Received Date: 31/08/2021
Acceptance Date: 28/09/2021
Electronic publication date: 21/01/2022
Collection year: 2022

© 2022 Siddiqui et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, Sharjah PO Box 27272, UAE; Tel: +971-6505-7722; E-mail:


Abdullah Shehab
Emirates Cardiac Society
Emirates Medical Association
(United Arab Emirates)
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Acceptance rate = 40%

Average review speed: 45 days average

18 days from acceptance to publication