Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota? Evolutionary pressures and potential mechanisms

Author: Alcock, J.; Maley, C.C.; Aktipis, C.A. Description: Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness. Microbes may do this through two potential strategies: (i) generating cravings for foods that they specialize on or foods that suppress their competitors, or (ii) inducing dysphoria until we eat foods that enhance their fitness. We review several potential mechanisms for microbial control over eating behavior including microbial influence on reward and satiety pathways, production of toxins…

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Antibiotics, microbiota, and immune defense

Author: Ubeda, C.; Pamer, E.G. Description: The gastrointestinal tract microbiota contributes to the development and differentiation of the mammalian immune system. The composition of the microbiota affects immune responses and affects susceptibility to infection by intestinal pathogens and development of allergic and inflammatory bowel diseases. Antibiotic administration, while facilitating clearance of targeted infections, also perturbs commensal microbial communities and decreases host resistance to antibiotic-resistant microbes. Here, we review recent advances that begin to define the interactions between complex intestinal microbial populations and the mammalian immune system and how this relation…

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Green areas around homes reduce atopic sensitization in children

Author: Ruokolainen, L., von Hertzen, L., Fyhrquist, N., Laatikainen, T., Lehtomäki, J., Auvinen, P., Karvonen, A. M., Hyvärinen, A., Tillmann, V., Niemelä, O., Knip, M., Haahtela, T., Pekkanen, J., & Hanski, I. Description: BACKGROUND: Western lifestyle is associated with high prevalence of allergy, asthma and other chronic inflammatory disorders. To explain this association, we tested the ‘biodiversity hypothesis’, which posits that reduced contact of children with environmental biodiversity, including environmental microbiota in natural habitats, has adverse consequences on the assembly of human commensal microbiota and its contribution to immune tolerance….

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Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism

Author: Scheiman, Jonathan; Luber, Jacob M.; Chavkin, Theodore A.; MacDonald, Tara; Tung, Angela; Pham, Loc-Duyen; Wibowo, Marsha C.; Wurth, Renee C.; Punthambaker, Sukanya; Tierney, Braden T.; Yang, Zhen; Hattab, Mohammad W.; Avila-Pacheco, Julian; Clish, Clary B.; Lessard, Sarah; Church, George M.; Kostic, Aleksandar D. Description: The human gut microbiome is linked to many states of human health and disease. The metabolic repertoire of the gut microbiome is vast, but the health implications of these bacterial pathways are poorly understood. In this study, we identify a link between members of the…

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Dietary simple sugars alter microbial ecology in the gut and promote colitis in mice

Author: Khan, S., Waliullah, S., Godfrey, V., Khan, M. A. W., Ramachandran, R. A., Cantarel, B. L., Behrendt, C., Peng, L., Hooper, L. V., & Zaki, H. Description: The higher prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Western countries points to Western diet as a possible IBD risk factor. High sugar, which is linked to many noncommunicable diseases, is a hallmark of the Western diet, but its role in IBD remains unknown. Here, we studied the effects of simple sugars such as glucose and fructose on colitis pathogenesis in wild-type…

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Maternal influences on fetal microbial colonization and immune development

Author: Romano-Keeler, Joann; Weitkamp, Jorn-Hendrik Description: While critical for normal development, the exact timing of establishment of the intestinal microbiome is unknown. For example, although preterm labor and birth have been associated with bacterial colonization of the amniotic cavity and fetal membranes for many years, the prevailing dogma of a sterile intrauterine environment during normal term pregnancies has been challenged more recently. While found to be a key contributor of evolution in the animal kingdom, maternal transmission of commensal bacteria may also constitute a critical process during healthy pregnancies in…

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Antibiotic treatments and microbes in the gut

Author: Macfarlane, S. Description: Antibiotic therapies are important in combating disease-causing microorganisms and maintaining host health. It is widely accepted that exposure of the gut microbiota to antibiotics can lead to decreased susceptibility and the development of multi-drug-resistant disease-causing organisms, which can be a major clinical problem. It is also important to consider that antibiotics not only target pathogenic bacteria in the gut, but also can have damaging effects on the ecology of commensal species. This can reduce intrinsic colonization resistance and contribute to problems with antibiotic resistance, including lateral…

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Exposure to environmental microorganisms and childhood asthma

Author: Ege, Markus J.; Mayer, Melanie; Normand, Anne-Cecile; Genuneit, Jon; Cookson, William O. C. M.; Braun-Fahrlander, Charlotte; Heederik, Dick; Piarroux, Renaud; von Mutius, Erika; GABRIELA Transregio 22 Study Group Description: BACKGROUND: Children who grow up in environments that afford them a wide range of microbial exposures, such as traditional farms, are protected from childhood asthma and atopy. In previous studies, markers of microbial exposure have been inversely related to these conditions. METHODS: In two cross-sectional studies, we compared children living on farms with those in a reference group with respect…

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The Use of Bacteriophages in the Poultry Industry

Author: Żbikowska, K.; Michalczuk, M. & Dolka, B. Description: The emergence of multidrug-resistant infections and antibiotic failures have raised concerns over human and veterinary medicine worldwide. Poultry production has had to confront the problems of an alarming increase in bacterial resistance, including zoonotic pathogens. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis have been the most frequently reported human foodborne diseases linked to poultry. This situation has strongly stimulated a renewal of scientists’ interest in bacteriophages (phages) since the beginning of the 21st century. Bacteriophages are the…

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Microbial ecology, bacterial pathogens, and antibiotic resistant genes in swine manure wastewater as influenced by three swine management systems

Author: Brooks, J.P.; Adeli, A.; McLaughlin, M.R. Description: The environmental influence of farm management in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) can yield vast changes to the microbial biota and ecological structure of both the pig and waste manure lagoon wastewater. While some of these changes may not be negative, it is possible that CAFOs can enrich antibiotic resistant bacteria or pathogens based on farm type, thereby influencing the impact imparted by the land application of its respective wastewater. The purpose of this study was to measure the microbial constituents of…

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