Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Tongue microbes provide window to heart health


Microorganisms on the tongue could help diagnose heart failure, according to research presented today on HFA Discoveries, a scientific platform of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1

Previous research has shown that microorganisms in the tongue coating could distinguish patients with pancreatic cancer from healthy people.

 The authors of that study proposed this as an early marker to diagnose pancreatic cancer. And, since certain bacteria are linked with immunity, they suggested that the microbial imbalance could stimulate inflammation and disease. Inflammation and the immune response also play a role in heart failure.

This study investigated the composition of the tongue microbiome in participants with and without chronic heart failure. The study enrolled 42 patients in hospital with chronic heart failure and 28 healthy controls. None of the participants had oral, tongue or dental diseases, had suffered an upper respiratory tract infection in the past week, had used antibiotics and immunosuppressants in the past week, or were pregnant or lactating.


Stainless steel spoons were used to take samples of the tongue coating in the morning, before participants had brushed their teeth or eaten breakfast. A technique called 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used to identify bacteria in the samples.

The researchers found that heart failure patients shared the same types of microorganisms in their tongue coating. Healthy people also shared the same microbes. There was no overlap in bacterial content between the two groups.

At the genus level, five categories of bacteria distinguished heart failure patients from healthy people with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.84 (where 1.0 is a 100% accurate prediction and 0.5 is a random finding).

See: https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/Tongue-microbes-provide-window-to-heart-health

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (http://www.pharmamicroresources.com/)

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