A2: Microbes in the News

Article Title: No Vacancy: How Beneficial Microbes Cooperate with Immunity to Provide Colonization Resistance to Pathogens

Date: May 1, 2015

Author: Martina Sassone-Corsi and Manuela Raffatellu

Source: Journal of Immunology

Link: https://www.jimmunol.org/content/194/9/4081


Summary: The microbes in the gut are called microbiota and they work hand in hand with our intestinal mucosa to provide a beneficial relationship to both. There are certain good bacteria that we have labeled as probiotics. These microbes that are beneficial to us and can help diminish pathogen colonization in our GI tract by blocking harmful microorganisms in two major ways. The first being direct competition between two commensals and the second being indirect effects against pathogens.  These probiotics include Lactobacillus spp  and Bifidobaterium spp. Probiotics are managed by the World Health Organization and are defined as “live bacterial species that confer a health benefit when administered in adequate amounts’. There has been some success in targeting specific pathogens with different probiotics but there is still further research that needs to be done.      


Connection: This article correlated with what we are covering about immunity. The way our body responds to specific pathogens and bacteria, what we produce internally and what we can take orally to enhance what we’ve already produced to fight potential infection. This also talks about the different pathways bacteria takes to cause infection.


Critical Analysis: I really like the idea of what the authors are studying. I do not like taking antibiotics unless absolutely have to. I like the idea of taking something to enhance the healthy bacteria that I already produce to help fight potential infections before they even occur. This article went into detail that went over my head a bit but they rounded it all together at the end.


Question: The article talks about discovering a specific intestinal commensal bacterium can potentially provide colonization resistance to certain pathogenic bacteria. I wonder if at some point we will be able to prescribe different probiotics to fight most, if not all GI diseases and infections before it even occurs to avoid prescribing antibiotics.