Archives for posts with tag: microbiome

Transplanting microbes from the gut of obese humans makes germ-free mice put on weight.

Read the original research in Science.

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A study of faecal transplants had to be stopped early because it was so successful – it was three to four times more likely to cure the difficult to treat gut infection Clostridium difficile than the strong antibiotic vancomycin.

While they might sound gross, faecal transplants from healthy donors, administered via a tube up the nose,  are turning out to be very effective at halting these very nasty infections. An alternative could be a dose of synthetic poo.

Read the original paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, or an article in Nature.

Stool transplants (faecal microbiota transplantation) have cured the nasty gut infection Clostridium difficile with a 90% success rate but the thought of having someone else’s faeces may not be everyone’s cup of tea. A ‘synthetic poo’, known gloriously as RePOOPulate, could be safer, more stable and more adaptable.

Read the original paper in Microbiome if you’re not too grossed out…

Children brought up with animals, and youngest children in families, are often the least likely to get asthma,  and this may be down to the microbiome (all the bacteria) in the home’s house dust. Mice fed house dust from homes with dogs were more likely to be immune to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) than mice fed with dust from non-dog homes. RSV is a common childhood infection, and children exposed to it are more likely to get asthma.The microbes in their gut were also different.

The hygiene hypothesis suggests that we get more allergies now because our immune systems don’t have enough to do. Hookworms might be able to cure allergies – but a dog is much more fun to take for a walk!

Breastfeeding helps to colonise babies’ guts with healthy bacteria, and this changes how they express the genes for immunity, improving their immune systems. Read the paper in Genome Biology.

black & white picture of  a baby's feet

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