Study shows diverse gut bacteria communities protect against harmful pathogens by nutrient blocking

December 16, 2023

Individual gut bacteria showed a very poor ability to restrict the spread of either pathogen. This ‘community protection effect’ was seen regardless of whether the bacteria were cultured together in vials, or in ‘germ-free’ mice (which had no resident gut bacteria at the start of the experiments). The researchers demonstrated that protective bacterial communities block pathogen growth by consuming the nutrients that the pathogen needs. According to the researchers, these new insights could be developed into novel strategies to combat harmful gut pathogens through optimising gut microbiome communities. They may also explain why individuals can become more susceptible to species such as K. pneumoniae after taking antibiotic treatments that can lower the diversity of gut microbiome species.

The source of this news is from University of Oxford