Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reshaping the gut microbiome could herald new treatments for bowel diseases

Date:
August 24, 2010
Source:
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Summary:
A healthy human body contains at least tenfold more bacteria cells than human cells. The most abundant and diverse microbial community resides in the intestine, and changes to the gut microbiota are linked with diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In a new study, researchers have analyzed the long-term effects of gut bacterial transplantation in rats, revealing crucial insight that will aid in the development of new treatments.

Home to a diverse range of microorganisms, a healthy human body contains at least tenfold more bacteria cells than human cells. The most abundant and diverse microbial community resides in the intestine, and changes to the gut microbiota are linked with diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Related Articles


In a report published online in Genome Research, researchers have analyzed the long-term effects of gut bacterial transplantation in rats, revealing crucial insight that will aid in the development of new treatments.

The human gut microbiome is unique to each individual and can include more than one thousand different species. Recent evidence has implicated disruptions to the homeostasis of the gut microbiome as playing a role in inflammatory bowel diseases, but treatments aimed at reshaping the microbial content with prebiotics, probiotics, or antibiotics have failed to induce stable, long-term improvements in bacterial diversity.

An attractive alternative to these approaches is the transplantation of gut microbiota from a healthy donor to an ill recipient. Several case reports of biotherapy by transplantation of fecal microbiota have revealed promising results, but the effectiveness of transplantation alone or in combination with other treatments have not been rigorously examined.

Using rats as a model system, an international team of researchers from Spain and the United States have now employed metagenomics to analyze the extent to which gut microbial diversity can be reshaped by transplantation alone or in combination with antibiotic treatment. The team sampled and pooled contents of the cecum from several donor rats, and introduced this bacteria-rich cecal material into the gut of recipient rats, some of which had also received antibiotic treatment to reduce the endogenous bacterial load.

By sequencing and analyzing microbial DNA present in the feces of recipient rats, the group could identify bacteria present and monitor changes in microbial diversity induced by the donor microbiota. Surprisingly, they found that not only could gut microbial diversity be successfully reshaped to resemble that of the donor, but that these changes are long-term, persisting three months after transplantation.

Further, although the researchers observed a reduction in microbial diversity following antibiotic pre-treatment of the recipient, consistent with previous findings, antibiotic treatment did not promote the establishment of the donor community, as hypothesized. In fact, their data suggests it interfered with the reshaping effect of the transplantation.

"Our work showed that it is possible to introduce new species in the intestinal microbial composition … without the need of eliminating first the endogenous bacteria by antibiotic treatment," said Chaysavanh Manichanh of the University Hospital Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (Barcelona, Spain) and first author of the study. The authors explained that because this insight is counterintuitive, it will be extremely valuable to researchers designing novel approaches using bacteriotherapy as an effective treatment for intestinal diseases.

Scientists from University Hospital Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (Barcelona, Spain), the University of Colorado (Boulder, CO), and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) contributed to this study.

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Spain), the National Institutes of Health, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Manichanh C, Reeder J, Gibert P, Varela E, Llopis M, Antolin M, Guigo R, Knight R, Guarner F. Reshaping the gut microbiome with bacterial transplantation and antibiotic intake. Genome Research, 2010; DOI: 10.1101/gr.107987.110

Cite This Page:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Reshaping the gut microbiome could herald new treatments for bowel diseases." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823172331.htm>.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. (2010, August 24). Reshaping the gut microbiome could herald new treatments for bowel diseases. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823172331.htm
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. "Reshaping the gut microbiome could herald new treatments for bowel diseases." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100823172331.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins