Hidden Microbiome

Posted by admin on March 10, 2016 with No Comments

bacteria-811861_1920The Center for Disease Control reported that lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI), otherwise known as Pneumonia, were responsible for approximately 53,000 deaths in 2013. In 2010, 37,000 patients with Pneumonia died while admitted in the hospital. According to the World Health Organization, Pneumonia was responsible for 15% of all deaths of children under 5 years old. In a study recently published by the journal MicrobiomeResearchers from the University of Pennsylvania describe in this study that approximately 15% of patients hospitalized with lower respiratory tract infections experience respiratory failure and are forced to undergo mechanical ventilation. Additionally, 15% of patients who are forced to undergo mechanical ventilation not as a result of (LRTI) will in fact develop a lower respiratory tract infection.

Kelly et al. sought out to gain greater insight into the microbiota of the respiratory tract of intubated patients by way of 16s rRNA gene sequencing. In the past, researchers and diagnosticians would have to rely on their ability to grow certain bacteria using a growth culture in order to identify the bacteria present during infection. Unfortunately, this technique is often times inadequate as many bacteria are unable to grow under standard laboratory conditions. However, scientific advancements such as PCR and Next-generation sequencing have made 16s rRNA gene sequencing a more reliable tool to complete taxonomic studies. Kelly et al. state “16s ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequencing has allowed culture-independent characterization of the bacterial communities in health and disease, termed the microbiome.” In many cases, 16s rRNA gene sequencing was able to confirm the results of traditional culture-based data, but in addition, 16s rRNA gene sequencing was also able to identify “unexpected bacteria”, according to Kelly et al. in relation to LRTI that had previously been unknown as LRTI pathogens.

Your Microbiome: An Early Indicator of Type II Diabetes?

Posted by admin on February 19, 2016 with No Comments

infographic-diabetes

The National Diabetes Statistics Report (2014) put out by the Center for Disease Control indicates that 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes. The number of individuals that are considered prediabetic are even more staggering, 86 million people, or 1 out of 3 adults are considered to be prediabetic. In adults, approximately 95% of all patients diagnosed with diabetes are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, with proper measures, such as weight loss, increased exercise, and a healthy diet, individuals with prediabetes can delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. However, 9 out of 10 individuals considered to be prediabetic do not know that they are at risk.

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2 Million Reads: Metagenome Sequencing

A team of researchers from The Broad Institute partnered with researchers from Seoul National University in order to investigate whether or not the associated imbalance of microbes within the gut microbiota of individuals with type 2 diabetes is present prior to disease onset. Yassour et al. recently published their findings in Genome Medicine, where they were able to perform shotgun metagenomic sequencing on 36 stool samples collected from 20 monozygotic Korean twins. While most metagenomic microbiome studies examine a diseased population and compare the detected microbial diversity with that of a healthy population, Yassour et al, concluded that this study design is unable to determine the relationship between the microbial ecology of the gut and the disease state, be it causal or responsive. Yassour et al. report both positive and negative correlations in biomarkers associated with type 2 diabetes, “functional changes in the gut microbiome at higher sub-clinical values of BMI, FBS, and triglycerides resembled the signatures found in patients with established IBD or T2D, suggesting a shared response to oxidative stress in the gut, induced even at low levels of inflammation or immune activation.” The results from this study and others exploring the host microbiota indicate the presence of a relationship between the gut response and disease state of the host.

 

Microbiome of Breast Milk

Posted by admin on January 7, 2016 with No Comments

newborn-659685_1920Researchers from the University of Western Ontario sought out to determine how the various factors that take place during birth affect the microbiome of human milk e.g. delivery vaginally or caesarean section, gender of the infant, delivery at term or preterm. Urbaniak et al. collected milk from 39 Caucasian Canadian women for DNA isolation and 16s rRNA sequencing. The microbial data for each sample was generated using the Illumina MiSeq platform.

There is a gaining interest in the correlation between the microbiome of infants and the onset of certain diseases and/or health issues such as asthma, types I and II diabetes, and obesity. It is well known that newborns receive a boost in their immune system from breast feeding, but how the microbiome is affected by various stages of gestation is still unknown.

This study employed the use of barcoded primers to sequence the V6 hypervariable region and was able to determine that despite the differing physiological and hormonal factors between the 39 women there was no alteration to the bacterial composition found in the breast milk.

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Posted by admin on November 23, 2011 with 1 Comment

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