Gut bacteria make natural antibiotics

Gut bacteria make natural antibiotics

A healthy microbiome makes chemicals that act as antibiotics and these are capable of protecting different populations around the globe.

It’s all becoming very Hi-Tech. The problem is that despite our rapidly increasing knowledge of the microbiome, we still have no idea of all the chemicals it makes that impinge on out health. (It’s called ‘The Dark Microbiome’!)

So Dr. Mohamed Donia of Princeton University used computers, algorithms and other wizardry to search for gene sequences in the bacteria that inhabit our gut, mouth, skin and other warm, and wet places in our body, that are known to produce anti-cancer chemicals.

For example, they started looking for genes that made a rare enzyme T11-PKS that is critical to making antibiotics and doxorubicin. And they found that it was quite prominent in our microbiomes; in 13 clusters of bacterial genes in fact.

They also found it across different geographical areas – in populations in South East Asia, Europe and America and concluded that the genes were present regardless of dietary habits.

They then introduced the genes into laboratory bacteria. Sadly, they found no anti-cancer activity from these genes, but they did find antibiotic activity. This could be just one way anti-cancer treatments make patients weaker against infection.

Go to: Heal your Gut – Heal your Body

References

  1. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2019/10/02/science.aax9176
2019 Research
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