Sunday, 10 February 2019

New microbial strains in the human fecal community


Using a unique bioinformatics technique, researchers have detected the emergence of new strains of microbes in the human fecal microbiota after obesity surgery. These new strains emerged after surgical disruption of the stomach and upper small intestine. In contrast, the researchers found that strains of the human gut fecal microbiota resembled those found pre-surgery following surgery in the colon.

The ability of the informatics technique to discriminate among individual strains of the same species advances analysis of the human gut microbiota and how surgery may alter the microbial community. The human microbiota largely consists of 500 to 1,000 bacterial species that have a mainly beneficial influence on human health, including modulation of the immune system and influences on host metabolism and organ development. Previous studies of the microbiota have been able to determine changes in the relative abundance of various species after obesity surgery, but they could not discern whether this could be due to the replacement of one strain of a particular species by another strain of that same species.

"Our results show that, when you change the upper GI tract with obesity surgery, you also change the gut environment, resulting in the emergence of new strains of microbes," said Casey Morrow, Ph.D., leader of the research team and professor emeritus in UAB's Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology. "In the microbial competition for nutrients and space in the GI tract, the winners are new strains that are more competitive in the new GI tract environment."


See:

Ranjit Kumar, Jayleen Grams, Daniel I. Chu, David K. Crossman, Richard Stahl, Peter Eipers, Kelly Goldsmith, Michael Crowley, Elliot J. Lefkowitz, Casey D. Morrow. New microbe genomic variants in patients fecal community following surgical disruption of the upper human gastrointestinal tract. Human Microbiome Journal, 2018; 10: 37 DOI: 10.1016/j.humic.2018.10.002

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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