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Publication on the Vicious Cycle of Nutrition and Infectious Disease from the Virology Unit

Despite the fact that we produce enough food to feed everyone on Earth, world hunger is on the rise. On the other side of the table, the obesity crisis also weighs heavily. Malnutrition is less about food than about socioeconomic factors such as conflict, poverty, and global disasters such as climate change and the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Nutrition and infectious disease exist in an intricate dance. Adequate and balanced nutrition is critical for appropriate response to infection and any changes in the balance can serve as a tipping point for the next pandemic. 

On the other hand, pandemics, such as COVID-19, lead to greater malnutrition. Both over- and undernutrition increase severity of disease, alter vaccine effectiveness, and potentially create conditions for viral mutation and adaptation- further driving the disease and famine vicious cycle.

These long-term health and socio-economic repercussions have direct effects at individual and global levels and lead to long-term consequences. Therefore, investing in and strengthening public health, pandemic prevention, and nutrition programs become vital at a much more complex systems level.

Read the publication: PLOS PATHOGENS