There is a strong belief among scientists that understanding microbial communities will lead to advances in environmental protection and human health. In recent articles published in Science and Nature and summarized by The New York Times here, researchers called for government support of a national microbiome initiative to study microbial communities. Such an initiative could lead to better understanding of the role of the microbiome in disease progression and prevention, as well as offer further opportunities to investigate the potential of microbiome manipulations such as fecal transplantations.
In a recent article in Hutch News, found here, the gut microbiome was shown to have a negative effect on the success of HIV vaccines. The recent HIV vaccine tested boosted production of antibodies that bind both the HIV virus and several intestinal bacteria. Researchers suspect that the HIV virus mimics common gut microbia that are not targeted by the immune system. Future vaccine trials will involve infants with undeveloped immune systems, hoping to circumvent the protective effects of the gut microbiome. In addition, future vaccine trials will incorporate gut microbiome analysis to further understand the link between vaccine effectiveness and the microbiome.
Fortune magazine recently highlighted the work of Danone yogurt manufacturer at their laboratory in Utrecht, Netherlands where scientists explore the effects of food products on the human digestive system using a model gastrointestinal tract. The TNO Intestinal Model ("TIM") allows researchers to explore the possibility of healing damage to the gut microbiome with an appropriately engineered diet. The results of work with TIM to explore the effects of pre and probiotics, for example, could have dramatic impact on the exploding superfoods marketplace.
A review published in FEMS Microbiology Reviews in May summarizes research into the microbiome of blood in non-communicable diseases. The overview emphasizes the microbial component of chronic, inflammatory diseases that have been difficult to investigate due to non-culturability of dormant pathogens. As culturing methods improve, however, more information on the authentic blood microbiome is coming to light.
The microbiome as a source for solutions to the increasingly prevalent issue of antibiotic resistance is an idea gaining attention in the scientific community. This week’s Microbiome Forum: Asia addresses numerous topics in the field of microbiome research including the critical issue of antibiotic resistance.
A recent post on Forbes.com (found here) reviews some of the headlines on the topic and dramatic projections about the rising number of deaths due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) between now and 2050. Also mentioned is a report by the UK’s Wellcome Trust. The report projects that antibiotic resistance could cost up to $100 trillion and reduce Gross Domestic Product by 2-3.5%.
An article highlights research into connections between the microbiome and Parkinson's Disease. To read more, click here.
A recent study shows a potential link between the gut microbiome and multiple sclerosis. The read more, click here
CryoXtract Instruments is excited to be presenting two posters and a display booth at the annual conference of the European, Middle Eastern and African Society for Biopreservation and Biobanking (ESBB) that starts tomorrow in Leipzig, Germany.
Global study of the human microbiome has been accelerating due to the growing understanding of how various microbes affect our health and play a role in numerous diseases. Fecal samples, the primary biosample of relevance in many microbiome studies, are proving to be rich sources of data that are key to understanding the relationship between the microbial community that lives within the human gut and a number of health and disease indicators such as obesity and celiac disease.
This New York Times article describes the importance of research into the microbiome and the efforts of Dr. Alexander Khoruts, a University of Minnesota gastroenterologist, in treating a patient with a fecal transplantation in 2008. The story can be found here.