SARS-CoV-2 is a highly infectious respiratory virus associated with coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Discoveries in the field revealed that inflammatory conditions exert a negative impact on bone metabolism; however, only limited studies reported the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection on skeletal homeostasis. Inflammatory immune cells (T helper—Th17 cells and macrophages) and their signature cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are the major contributors to the cytokine storm observed in COVID-19 disease. Our group along with others has proven that an enhanced population of both inflammatory innate (Dendritic cells—DCs, macrophages, etc.) and adaptive (Th1, Th17, etc.) immune cells, along with their signature cytokines (IL-17, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-6, etc.), are associated with various inflammatory bone loss conditions. Moreover, several pieces of evidence suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infects various organs of the body via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors including bone cells (osteoblasts—OBs and osteoclasts—OCs). This evidence thus clearly highlights both the direct and indirect impact of SARS-CoV-2 on the physiological bone remodeling process. Moreover, data from the previous SARS-CoV outbreak in 2002–2004 revealed the long-term negative impact (decreased bone mineral density—BMDs) of these infections on bone health.
We used the keywords “immunopathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2,” “SARS-CoV-2 and bone cells,” “factors influencing bone health and COVID-19,” “GUT microbiota,” and “COVID-19 and Bone health” to integrate the topics for making this review article by searching the following electronic databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, and Scopus.
Current evidence and reports indicate the direct relation between SARS-CoV-2 infection and bone health and thus warrant future research in this field. It would be imperative to assess the post-COVID-19 fracture risk of SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals by simultaneously monitoring them for bone metabolism/biochemical markers. Importantly, several emerging research suggest that dysbiosis of the gut microbiota—GM (established role in inflammatory bone loss conditions) is further involved in the severity of COVID-19 disease. In the present review, we thus also highlight the importance of dietary interventions including probiotics (modulating dysbiotic GM) as an adjunct therapeutic alternative in the treatment and management of long-term consequences of COVID-19 on bone health.