COVID-19 Research Publications:

7- More than 50 long-term effects of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lopez-Leon S, Wegman-Ostrosky T, Perelman C, Sepulveda R, Rebolledo PA, Cuapio A, Villapol S.Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 9;11(1):16144. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95565-8.PMID: 34373540 Free PMC article.

6- Vaccinate fast but leave no one behind: a call to action for COVID-19 vaccination in Spain Lazarus, J.V., Bassat, Q., Crespo, J. et al. Commun Med 1, 12 (2021).

5- Natural tannin extracts supplementation for COVID-19 patients (TanCOVID): a structured summary of a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Molino S, Pisarevsky A, Mingorance FL, Vega P, Stefanolo JP, Repetti J, Ludueña G, Pepa P, Olmos JI, Fermepin MR, Uehara T, Villapol S, Savidge T, Treangen T, Viciani E, Castagnetti A, Piskorz MM.Trials. 2021 Apr 28;22(1):310. doi: 10.1186/s13063-021-05281-x.PMID: 33910614 Free PMC article.

4-  COVID-SCORE Spain: Public perceptions of key government COVID-19 control measures. White TM, Cash-Gibson L, Martin-Moreno JM, Matesanz R, Crespo J, Alfonso-Sanchez JL, Villapol S, El-Mohandes A, Lazarus JV.Eur J Public Health. 2021 Apr 19:ckab066. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckab066. Online ahead of print.PMID: 33872348 Free PMC article.

3- SARS-CoV-2 genomic diversity and the implications for qRT-PCR diagnostics and transmission. Sapoval N, Mahmoud M, Jochum MD, Liu Y, Elworth RAL, Wang Q, Albin D, Ogilvie HA, Lee MD, Villapol S, Hernandez KM, Maljkovic Berry I, Foox J, Beheshti A, Ternus K, Aagaard KM, Posada D, Mason CE, Sedlazeck FJ, Treangen TJ.Genome Res. 2021 Apr;31(4):635-644. doi: 10.1101/gr.268961.120. Epub 2021 Feb 18.PMID: 33602693 Free PMC article.

2- Gastrointestinal symptoms associated with COVID-19: impact on the gut microbiome. Villapol S.Transl Res. 2020 Dec;226:57-69. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2020.08.004. Epub 2020 Aug 20.PMID: 32827705 Free PMC article. Review.

1- Hidden genomic diversity of SARS-CoV-2: implications for qRT-PCR diagnostics and transmission. Sapoval N, Mahmoud M, Jochum MD, Liu Y, Elworth RAL, Wang Q, Albin D, Ogilvie H, Lee MD, Villapol S, Hernandez KM, Berry IM, Foox J, Beheshti A, Ternus K, Aagaard KM, Posada D, Mason CE, Sedlazeck F, Treangen TJ.bioRxiv. 2020 Jul 2:2020.07.02.184481. doi: 10.1101/2020.07.02.184481. Preprint.PMID: 32637955 Free PMC article. Updated.

The Villapol Lab’s mission at Houston Methodist Research Institute is to look for novel neurorestorative treatments for brain recovery through the lens of the periphery.

Currently, we are using our resources and expertise to focus on understanding SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. We are collaborating within COV-IRT, Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine,  and Hospital Clinicas (Buenos Aires, Argentina) to:

  • Collect and analyze patient samples to better understand disease progression and susceptibility.
  • Understand the role of the gut and oral microbiome in COVID-19 infection and prognosis.
  • Can COVID-19 change your gut microbiome?

  • Is the gut microbiome an indicator of susceptibility or Long Covid?

Participate in Clinical Research studying the oral and gut microbiome in COVID-19

Exploring the role of the microbiome in COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19)is an emerged infection raised wide concerns for pneumonia and respiratory manifestations. Also, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms are frequently observed in COVID-19 patients, but the significance remains undetermined.

The objective of this study is to analyze the oral and gut microbiome from participants who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 (with positive or negative results). Also, we will analyze the viral RNA sequencing in the saliva samples. We will use the Nanopore system to perform the microbiome analysis.


We are requesting the self-collection of saliva and stool samples.


Over 18 years-old, tested positive for COVID-19.



Sonia Villapol, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery,

Saeed S. Sadrameli, M.D., Neurosurgery Resident,

Sirena Soriano, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher,

Principal Investigator

Sonia Villapol, Ph.D.

Enrollment Coordinator

Sirena Soriano, Ph.D.

Study Coordinator

Saeed Sadrameli, M.D.

Research Assistant and Lab Manager

Morgan Holcomb, B.S.