Nasty Salmonella Infections Could be Defeated by Viruses Inside Our Guts Without Antibiotics

    Salmonella up closeSalmonella up close (Food Safety News)

BACKGROUND

Salmonella are bacteria that are often responsible for food-borne illnesses. The symptoms of Salmonella infection is “nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, and blood in stool” (Mayo Clinic, 2019). Sometimes Salmonella infections need to be treated with antibiotics, but it is becoming more common that Salmonella and other infectious bacteria are antibiotic resistant due to overexposure to antibiotics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019). When someone with an antibiotic resistant bacteria gets sick, it can be incredibly difficult to treat if the person’s immune system isn’t able to fight off the illness on its own. However, there’s an alternative, bacteriophages are viruses that infect and kill specific bacteria or archaea. This treatment option has gained interest in the last decade due to the increasing abundance of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Continue reading “Nasty Salmonella Infections Could be Defeated by Viruses Inside Our Guts Without Antibiotics”

Could the Amish have it Right?

Asthma can be regulated by microbes.
Asthma can be regulated by microbes (credit: t3.ftcdn.net ).

 

Background: Can leading a simple traditional life correlate to health in non intuitive ways such as acting as a buffer against the development of asthma? Recent studies have shown that asthma is less prominent when microbial diversity is high (Genuneit, 2012); this trend has been observed in children involved in farming (Mutius,2010). Genuneit demonstrate that children who are exposed to farming have a 25% decreased chance of experiencing asthma (Genuneit, 2012). Logically it is sensible that the diversity of microbes would be higher in children exposed to farming, with all the dirt, hay and animals that comes with it, than children who are not exposed to that environment and live in more consistent sanitary lifestyle. In other words the diversity of a bacterial community across subjects (farm children vs. non-farm children) is much higher in children exposed to farming than those who were not. But how is such a phenomenon achieved? Continue reading “Could the Amish have it Right?”