Navigation Links
More than just bacteria: The importance of microbial diversity in gut health and disease
Date:3/9/2014

(March 10, 2014) The gut microbiota contains a vast number of microorganisms from all three domains of life, including bacteria, archaea and fungi, as well as viruses. These interact in a complex way to contribute towards both health and the development of disease interactions that are only now being elucidated thanks to the application of advanced DNA sequencing technology in this field.

"Using novel metagenomic approaches, scientists are at last beginning to characterize the taxonomic abundance and community relationships not only of bacteria, but also the other microbes that inhabit the gut environment,"1 says Professor Gary Wu, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. "This exciting work is bringing us one step closer to understanding the importance of microbial diversity in intestinal health and disease and could ultimately lead to new ways of diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal (GI) disease."

His talk was one of the topics presented at the Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit in Miami, FL, USA. On March 8-9, 2014, internationally leading experts discussed the latest advances in gut microbiota research and its impact on health.

The microorganisms that inhabit the gut can be broadly divided into prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), bacteriophages (viruses that infect prokaryotes), eukaryotic viruses, and the meiofauna (microscopically small benthic invertebrates that live in both marine and fresh water environments primarily fungi and protozoa).1 Of these, bacteria have been the most extensively studied. The gastrointestinal tract is now considered one of the most complex microbial ecosystems on earth and understanding how the multiple communities interact presents both opportunities and challenges.

"We have known for some time that the bacteria in the gut play an important role in both health and disease," says Prof. Wu. "It is also now becoming clear that the non-bacterial microbiota interacts in a complex way with the bacterial microbiota to contribute to these processes."

Viruses in the gut

The most common viruses in the gut are the bacteriophages. These rapidly-evolving viruses can outnumber bacteria by a factor of 10 to one; they infect and destroy bacterial cells and have the ability to transfer genetic material from one bacterium to another, with potentially profound implications for GI health and disease.

"There is a predatorprey relationship between bacteriophages and bacteria that may play a role in altering the bacterial microbiota in conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)," says Prof. Wu. "The fact that bacteriophages induce immune responses in bacteria and may also transmit genomic material into bacteria that may alter their function makes these viruses extremely important and we need to know much more about them."

Meiofauna in the microbiota

DNA sequencing techniques have also confirmed the presence of commensal meiofauna in the GI tract that may be important in promoting health and disease.1 Certain types of meiofauna (e.g. helminths and Blastocystis) are thought to protect against IBD by suppressing inflammation, and others believe that increased fungal diversity may contribute to GI diseases, including IBD.

"Decreases in fungal diversity have been shown to correlate with an increase in healthy bacterial colonisation following probiotic therapy, suggesting niche competition between fungi and bacteria," says Prof. Wu. "This effect is also evident in the development of mucosal Candida infection following antibiotic treatment."

Non-bacterial microbes and the future

Prof. Wu and others believe that the importance of trans-domain interactions in health and disease are only just beginning to emerge. By studying the complex relationships between bacterial and non-bacterial microbes in the gut, it is hoped that a greater understanding of pathogenic mechanisms will be gained, leading ultimately to novel approaches to diagnosis and treatment.


'/>"/>
Contact: Aimee Frank
afrank@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Beauty & bacteria: Slim, attractive men have less nasal bacteria than heavy men
2. Growing up as a neural stem cell: The importance of clinging together and then letting go
3. IntelliQuote Works to Educate Consumers about the Importance of Life Insurance Protection and to Make Coverage More Readily Available
4. New Metal-on-Metal Hip Implant Study Emphasizes Importance of Patients’ Symptoms in Evaluating the Need for Hip Replacement Revisions, Bernstein Liebhard LLP Reports
5. Seattle Assisted Living Community Recognizes Importance of Music and Dance with Busy January Event Schedule
6. Study Questions Importance of Triggers in Setting Off Migraines
7. Members of University Services Sleep Diagnostic & Treatment Centers Wake Up Industries and Communities to the Importance of Sleep for Sleep Awareness Week
8. Muscular Development Store Comments on the Top 10 Pre-workout foods and the Importance of Carbohydrates in a Pre-Workout Meal
9. Westlake Village Dentist, Dr. Shindler, Now Informs Patients about the Importance of Prevention for Oral Health
10. Dr. Stephen Lazarus Continues to Recognize the Importance of Quality, Medical Skin Care and Products in Welcoming Licensed Paramedical Esthetician, Amye Smith
11. Jose Cirino, Director of Operations for GeneCell International, Accentuates the Importance Surrounding the Minority Community
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 28, 2017 , ... Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) ... America (HCAOA). This agreement allows HCAOA members to receive special pricing on ACHC’s ... Accreditation University (AU) educational resources that help prepare HCAOA members for ACHC Accreditation. ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... Getting enough sleep affects much more than ... (NSF), going just 19 hours without sleep can compromise motor reaction time, which can increase ... and Amica Insurance is sharing the following tips from the NSF to help you sleep ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Datta Endoscopic Back Surgery ... the revolutionary endoscopic practice under Dr. Datta. Patel is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist, ... patented, revolutionary eDiscSculpt Technique created and used by Datta Endoscopic is unlike traditional ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... People are ... older people. “Wearing a hearing aid doesn’t have the stigma it had when great-grandpa ... Hearing Associates of Greater Boston, in a NALA North American Speaker Series ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Intellitec Solutions ... Grove Foundation implement a Microsoft Dynamics GP solution that integrates to their PointClickCare ... that specializes in long-term care, Brooke Grove now has the capability to achieve ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... Calif. , April 19, 2017  IRIDEX Corporation ... will release financial results for the first quarter 2017 ... 2017.  The Company,s management team will host a corresponding ... p.m. ET. Investors interested in listening to ... 707-0665 for domestic callers or (703) 326-3030 for international ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... NEW YORK , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... This report on the prostate cancer ... of the global market. Increasing prevalence of prostate ... as innovation in the development of new drugs ... hormone-refractory prostate cancer drug due to lesser side ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... India , April 19, 2017 ... and Application, Forecast to 2022 report has covered and analysed ... statistics and information on market size, shares and growth factors. ... major drivers, challenges and opportunities in the global market. ... Browse 152 Tables and Figures, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: