IMR Press / FBL / Volume 26 / Issue 11 / DOI: 10.52586/5023
Open Access Review
Multidisciplinary of anti-COVID-19 battle: from immunological weapons to ecological interventions
Show Less
1 Department of Literature and Philosophy (DILEF), University of Florence, 50121 Florence, Italy
2 Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
3 SOD of Interdisciplinary Internal Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi (AOUC), 50134 Florence, Italy
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2021, 26(11), 1274–1285;
Submitted: 8 June 2021 | Revised: 18 October 2021 | Accepted: 19 October 2021 | Published: 30 November 2021
Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by BRI.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (

The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a medical and epidemiological problem. In fact, its impact concerns numerous aspects of human life (such as social and the political-economic dimension). This review aims at highlighting some crucial and neglected aspects of the pandemic in order to include them into a more general framework for the understanding of the phenomenon. Accordingly, it is structured as follows. First, after e brief recap of COVID-19 onset, it is argued the so-called proximate causes of the pandemic, i.e., the mechanisms by which viruses infect their hosts and the patterns of spread of the resulting pathologies, are not enough for a more adequate understanding of it. Second, it is shown how possible solutions to the risk of an upcoming pandemic involve studying the ultimate causes of this phenomenon. This means understanding not only how COVID-19 has become a global issue but also why it was possible for this to happen. Next, it is argued that is urgent to go to the root of the possible conditions: thus looking at the ecological dimension of diseases, the role of microorganisms in evolution, up to rethinking the organization of health systems. Third, to keep these very different perspectives together entails the study of COVID-19 from the point of view of the relationships between biological entities in a purely systemic dimension. Fourth, special attention is given to the symbiotic perspective offered by the study of the microbiota. It is argued how this perspective on microbiota provides an innovative interpretative lens with which to analyze various aspects (from the immunological to the ecosystemic one) of the pandemic. In conclusion, it is claimed that this field of study could perhaps offer not only elements that will be useful to make the treatment and containment strategies of the pandemic effective in its mechanisms, but also may suggest innovative elements for the solutions about the deep reasons that have made COVID-19 a global issue.

Fig. 1.
Back to top