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Selenium and RNA Virus Interactions: Potential Implications for SARS-CoV-2 Infection (COVID-19)

Authors
  • Hiffler, Laurent1
  • Rakotoambinina, Benjamin2
  • 1 Independent researcher, Lagny-sur-Marne , (France)
  • 2 LRI Isotopic Medicine Lab, University of Antananarivo, Antananarivo , (Madagascar)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Nutrition
Publisher
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Sep 04, 2020
Volume
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2020.00164
PMID: 33015130
PMCID: PMC7498630
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic that already claimed more than 340,000 lives worldwide as of May 23, 2020, the majority of which are elderly. Selenium (Se), a natural trace element, has a key and complex role in the immune system. It is well-documented that Se deficiency is associated with higher susceptibility to RNA viral infections and more severe disease outcome. In this article, we firstly present evidence on how Se deficiency promotes mutations, replication and virulence of RNA viruses. Next, we review how Se might be beneficial via restoration of host antioxidant capacity, reduction of apoptosis and endothelial cell damages as well as platelet aggregation. It also appears that low Se status is a common finding in conditions considered at risk of severe COVID-19, especially in the elderly. Finally, we present a rationale for Se use at different stages of COVID-19. Se has been overlooked but may have a significant place in COVID-19 spectrum management, particularly in vulnerable elderly, and might represent a game changer in the global response to COVID-19.

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