Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists identify new microbes linked to severe diarrhea

Date:
June 27, 2014
Source:
University of Maryland
Summary:
Diarrhea is a major cause of childhood mortality in developing countries and ranks as one of the top four causes of death among young children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In a finding that may one day help control diarrhea, researchers have identified microorganisms that may trigger diarrheal disease and others that may protect against it. These microbes were not widely linked to the condition previously.

Mihai Pop, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, recently concluded a major study of diarrheal pathogens in young children from low-income countries.
Credit: University of Maryland

In a finding that may one day help control a major cause of death among children in developing countries, a team of researchers led by faculty from the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland School of Medicine has identified microorganisms that may trigger diarrheal disease and others that may protect against it. These microbes were not widely linked to the condition previously.

"We were able to identify interactions between microbiota that were not previously observed, and we think that some of those interactions may actually help prevent the onset of severe diarrhea," says O. Colin Stine, a professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

A much better understanding of these interactions is important, Stine adds, as they could lead to possible dietary interventions. Moderate to severe diarrhea (MSD) is a major cause of childhood mortality in developing countries and ranks as one of the top four causes of death among young children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Stine and Mihai Pop, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park led the six-year project funded by $10.1 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The research results are available in a paper published in the journal Genome Biology.

The researchers used a technique called high-throughput 16S rRNA genomic sequencing to examine both "good" and "bad" microbiota -- the tens of trillions of microbes that inhabit the human intestinal system -- in samples taken from 992 children in Bangladesh, The Gambia, Kenya and Mali under the age of 5 who were suffering from MSD.

The researchers identified statistically significant disease associations with several organisms already implicated in diarrheal disease, such as members of the Escherichia/Shigella genus and Campylobacter jejuni. They also found that organisms not widely believed to cause the disease, including Streptococcus and Granulicatella, correlated with the condition in their study. In addition, the study revealed that the Prevotella genus and Lactobacillus ruminis may play a protective role against diarrhea.

The project is an offshoot of a $20 million study commissioned by the Gates Foundation in 2006. The Global Enterics Multicenter Study (GEMS) was launched in response to unanswered questions surrounding the burden and etiology of childhood diarrhea in developing countries.

GEMS collected troves of useful data on MSD, yet there were still some uncertainties, says Pop, who also has an appointment in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies.

For example, in almost 50 percent of the children examined with diarrhea, the condition could not be attributed to a specific causal pathogen. The GEMS research also found numerous children carrying Shigella, which is known to cause problems, yet the children showed no signs of MSD.

The Gates Foundation contacted the two University of Maryland scientists in 2007, looking for new analyses of the GEMS data via a combination of computational biology, epidemiology and public health.

"New technologies have opened up new windows of discovery, so they asked us to look at the samples," says Pop, who adds that he and Stine expect to conduct further genomic and epidemiological studies to assess the potential development of diet- or microbiological-based therapeutics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Maryland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mihai Pop, Alan W Walker, Joseph Paulson, Brianna Lindsay, Martin Antonio, M Hossain, Joseph Oundo, Boubou Tamboura, Volker Mai, Irina Astrovskaya, Hector Bravo, Richard Rance, Mark Stares, Myron M Levine, Sandra Panchalingam, Karen Kotloff, Usman N Ikumapayi, Chinelo Ebruke, Mitchell Adeyemi, Dilruba Ahmed, Firoz Ahmed, Meer Alam, Ruhul Amin, Sabbir Siddiqui, John B Ochieng, Emmanuel Ouma, Jane Juma, Euince Mailu, Richard Omore, J Morris, Robert F Breiman, Debasish Saha, Julian Parkhill, James P Nataro, O Stine. Diarrhea in young children from low-income countries leads to large-scale alterations in intestinal microbiota composition. Genome Biology, 2014; 15 (6): R76 DOI: 10.1186/gb-2014-15-6-r76

Cite This Page:

University of Maryland. "Scientists identify new microbes linked to severe diarrhea." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627094902.htm>.
University of Maryland. (2014, June 27). Scientists identify new microbes linked to severe diarrhea. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627094902.htm
University of Maryland. "Scientists identify new microbes linked to severe diarrhea." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140627094902.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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