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Top News in Family Medicine February 12 2019 (10 of 19)


After numerous recent studies, bacteria of the human intestine are able to influence various aspects of our physical and mental health. Nevertheless, scientists remain numerous bacteria that do not show them. A new study has now discovered about 2,000 previously unknown intestinal bacteria.

Recent studies that covered it Today's medical news have shown that the microbial of the gut can play a role in Parkinson's disease and dementia, but they can also explain why the type 2 diabetes medicine works well for some, but not for others. New research that appeared yesterday in the magazine Nature– has now found nearly 2,000 new bacterial types of gut that scientists have never cultivated in the laboratory.

A team of researchers from the European Institute of Bioinformatics (EMBL-EBI) and the Wellcome Sanger Institute, both in Hinxton, UK, used a computerized analysis to evaluate intestinal microbial patterns from participants around the world. "Computer methods enable us to understand bacteria that can not be cultivated in the laboratory yet," explains Rob Finn from EMBL-EMI.

"Using metagenomics." [the analysis of genetic material] reconstructing the bacterial genomes is somewhat similar to the reconstruction of several hundred puzzles after mixing all the pieces together without knowing what the final image should be, and after completely removing some pieces from the mixture just to make it more difficult. continues.

Finn continues: "Researchers are now at a stage where they can use a range of computer tools that complement and sometimes run laboratory work in order to discover new insights about the human gut."

A new approach

The team succeeded in reconstructing 92,143 genomes from samples from 11,850 different intestinal microbials. This allowed researchers to identify 1952 bacterial species from the gut that they did not know until this point. Finn and his colleagues explain that many bacterial species "retain a low profile", practically because they are found only in very low numbers in the gut or can not survive outside the gut environment.

That is, they conclude, so far prevented scientists from adding such species to their list of gut bacteria that they know. The reason is also that the team that conducted the current study decided on a new route – and use a combination of computer methods to try to form a more comprehensive "map" of the human microbiota.

"Computer methods allow us to get an idea of ​​the many bacterial species that live in the human gut, how they developed and what role they can play in their microbial community," says co-author Alexandre Almeida.

In the direction of creating a "solid plan"

"In this study," explains Almeida, "we have exploited the most extensive public database of digestive bacteria to identify bacterial species that have not yet been seen: a future that enables further detection."

In the future, researchers hope that these and similar studies will further contribute to their understanding of the human gut, which will contribute to the development of better treatment for different conditions.

"Research, such as this, helps us to create the so-called human gut plan, which in the future can help us better understand people's health and illness and could even lead the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal diseases."

Study co-author Trevor Lawley of the Wellcome Sanger Institute

At the same time, the group notes that in this study, researchers were more aware of the large gaps in intestinal bacterial research. Scientists currently know relatively little about bacterial species that are characteristic of populations other than the inhabitants of Europe and North America, researchers stress.

"We see that many of the same types of bacteria appear in the data from European and North American populations. However, some South American and African databases to which we had access to this study showed that there is no longer diversity in former populations, Finn notes.

"This suggests that gathering data from less represented populations is essential if we want to achieve a truly comprehensive picture of the composition of the human gut," he adds, and urges researchers to continue to focus on more diverse cohorts.

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