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Background & Aims: Although gut inflammation and dysbiosis have been implicated in the pathophysiology of severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the role of intestinal anti-inflammatory enzymes, such as alkaline phosphatase, is still underexplored. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare intestinal alkaline phosphatase (iALP) activity and its proinflammatory substrate - bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) - concentration between mild-to-moderate and severe COVID-19 patients. Methods: Stool samples collected from 53 mild-to-moderate and 57 severe adult COVID-19 patients, previously enrolled in a national multicentre cross-sectional study (NCT04355741), were analysed for iALP activity and LPS concentration. Results: iALP activity decreased by 40% in severe compared to mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients (median [interquartile range] of 120.6 [25.2–593.1] nmol pNP/min/g of protein vs 202.8 [102.1–676.1] nmol pNP/min/g of protein; P = .04) after adjustment for clinical and gut microbiota parameters. Regarding fecal LPS, its concentration was found to be decreased in severe patients (mean ± standard error of mean of 18,118 ± 1225 EU/g of feces vs 22,508 ± 1203 EU/g of feces; P = .01), although this parameter did not correlate with plasma levels of C-reactive protein (P = .08), a sensitive biomarker of systemic inflammation. In contrast, fecal ALP activity / LPS concentration ratio, an indicator of iALP efficiency, was found to be increased in severe compared to mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients (P = .04). Conclusion: Changes in iALP kinetic parameters found in severe COVID-19 patients may represent a potential mechanism to counterbalance alterations in gut homeostasis (eg inflammation and dysbiosis) associated with COVID-19 severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-917
Number of pages7
JournalGastro Hep Advances
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Coronavirus Disease 2019
  • Gut
  • Inflammation


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