A number of concerted actions are needed to tackle the resistance problem, and one of them is to improve the way antibiotics are currently used, both in agriculture and in medicine. Mostly, this means curbing antibiotics use.
A study published last week in Science Translational Medicine shows that low amounts of DNA from diverse bacterial phyla are found in the placenta even in healthy pregnancies, and that the bacterial phyla present in the placenta are more similar to those found in the mouth than to those present in other body tissues such as the gut, the skin, or the vagina.
Many news outlets reported the findings; unfortunately, it seems that (perhaps characteristically) the speculations developed by the authors of the study in the discussion section of their article received more attention than the actual results of the study, leading to misleading comments on the importance of oral hygiene in women and on the relative importance of the placental microbiome and the mode of delivery (C-section or vaginal birth) regarding the infant’s own microbiota. Continue reading →
Interest in the potential benefits of manipulating the gut microbe population (microbiota) has increased a lot over the past 5 years, as more and more research has shown how the bacteria living in the human gut can affect their host physiology (for example, by participating in the “education” of the immune system). Continue reading →
Amidst all the hype about your microbiota (all the microbes living in and on you) and what it is beneficial for, have you ever taken the time to ponder when and where you acquired all those microbes to start with? Continue reading →
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium that can be found in many places, from soil and water to the surface of your skin or medical equipment. It is also a common nosocomial pathogen that can for example infect the lungs, burns or wounds and lead to pneumonia, sepsis or other infections with life-threatening consequences, especially in immunodepressed individuals. Unfortunately, P. aeruginosa is resistant to many antibiotics (and pretty good at developing resistance to new treatments), can survive and even thrive on many surfaces, and can organize in biofilms that are particularly difficult to destroy.
Picks for this month, first part:
– prions, alcohol and yeast, or how an environmentally responsive prion protein may help yeast to cope with high concentrations of ethanol,
– giant viruses, or how the discovery of viruses larger in size and DNA content than any virus known so far challenges the way scientists think of viruses. Continue reading →
In a study published in April in Nature Medicine, US researchers show that the intestinal microflora can process L-carnitine, a nutrient abundant in red meat, to produce a compound linked to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Nowadays, many people are aware that the high level of meat consumption in developed countries is linked to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD). However, it is also generally assumed that this is due to the high content in saturated fats and cholesterol of red meat. But what about other factors associated with meat consumption? Is there more to it than saturated fat and cholesterol? Continue reading →