Title: “Could You Fight Off Worms? Depends On Your Gut Microbes” – Nadia M. Whitehead
Summary: This article discusses a discovery of individuals infected with parasites share common microbes even though the individuals live in different geographic locations. The article further discusses how certain bacteria known as Lachnospiracae is associated with individuals who can fight off worms naturally.
Connections: This article is focused on the microbiome and the possibility of altering the human microbiome to fight parasites naturally without the use of drugs. We have discussed in class about the human microbiome and our bodies natural defenses over disease.
Critical Analysis: I liked how the author explains that 25% percent of the world’s population is infected with parasitic worms. The author further explains how these worms are contracted and that despite decades worth of deworming efforts to exterminate the world of worms, people in developing countries continue to be reinfected. I wish the author would have included graphs/charts on the research that was associated with the article. It would help further explain the research and engage the reader. The writer gives credit to Makedonka Mitreva, the lead researcher on the study reported in the article. Mitreva suggests a great way to rid the world of worms. She hopes to use fermented foods to plant “worm-defending” microbes inside of individuals to help fight worms.
Questions: Can we use the same plan of attack against worms to alter the human microbiome to fight other diseases, such as cancer or common infections?