Microbiome Bites October 17th

Infant lung microbiome | ThinkBiome

1. Discovery of infants’ airway microbiomes may help predict lung disease
Emerging evidence suggests that the gut microbiome is associated with the development of allergies and asthma. Now researchers at the University of Alabama have found that the infant airway is already colonized with bacteria or bacterial DNA when a baby is born. It’s not clear how microbes colonize the infants’ lungs, as the placenta is believed to be sterile. The pattern of colonization does, however, appear to have a link to the development of severe neonatal lung disease.  Read more here.
2. Fecal transplant provides long-term positive changes to gut microbiome
A new research study shows that fecal microbiota transplantation results in significant and long-term changes to the gut microbiomes of patients treated for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. This study with a long-term follow-up suggests that the intestinal microbiome can be modified relatively permanently. Interestingly, the researchers identified a core microbiota set transferred from donor to patient after FMT that contained 24 commonly acquired bacterial taxa, including some well-studied butyrate producers such as Eubacterium halliiand Roseburia intestinalis. This is consistent with the general belief that short chain fatty acids such as butyrate and propionate are some of the most beneficial products of the gut microbiome. Read more here.

3. Antidepressant Microbes In Soil: How Dirt Makes You Happy
Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil? The bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae has been found to have Prozac-like effects on neurons. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier.  Read more here.

4. The fecal microbiota as a biomarker for disease activity in Crohn’s disease
Dysbiosis of the gut microbiome has been associated with Crohn’s disease. The current method for monitoring Crohn’s disease progression is colonoscopy (which is invasive), and treatment is symptom-based, focusing on inducing or maintaining remission. In a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers demonstrate that fecal microbial profiles can be used to differentiate between active and remission CD and underline the potential of the fecal microbiota as a non-invasive tool to monitor disease activity in CD.