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Probiotics: Feeding mice harmless microorganisms prevents blood infections

Giving mice the probiotics of harmless bacteria helps prevent harmful microorganisms from entering and accumulating in the blood and causing a condition called sepsis.


November 24, 2021

Computer illustration of Bacillus subtilis

Scientific Photo Library / Alamy

Ingesting the types of bacteria commonly found in the soil helps mice avoid blood infections that can lead to sepsis. This study may one day lead to the treatment of people.

Sepsis Descends from bacterial activity, including Enterococcus faecalis.. These microbes can live in the human intestine without causing illness, but in people who are taking antibiotics for long periods of time or who are taking treatments that weaken their immunity. E. faecalis It can spread in the blood and cause systemic infections. This is sepsis.

Currently, for the first time, there is evidence from experiments in mice that taking probiotics can prevent blood infections. Probiotics were in the form of spores from another type of bacterium, Bacillus subtilis.. These spores are dormant bacteria that do not multiply by themselves and are highly resistant to environmental damage. Once in the intestine, they are activated and grow, affecting the growth of other bacteria in the intestine.

Michael Otto The National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland and his colleagues first administered the chemotherapeutic drug cyclophosphamide to mice for several days, followed by an antibiotic cocktail to treat blood cancer. It mimics the treatments that people often receive.

The team then gave the mice two doses. Bacillus subtilis Spores or salt solution before administration E. faecalis Next day.The next day, mice treated with saline placebo E. faecalis Patients who received probiotics avoided blood infections, although in the blood, which can cause sepsis.

Neither group of mice had bacteria in their blood after 3 days, but the team discovered, probably because the immune system wiped out the microbes. E. faecalis At this stage, it is found in the liver and spleen of control mice, but not in probiotic-fed mice.

The team found it E. faecalis It produces enzymes that leak the intestines, helping them spread into the blood, and probiotics say it may be preventing this effect.

To test this idea, the group gave mice non-digestible fluorescent chemicals and measured how much this marker was present in the blood after 4 hours. Marker levels were more than twice as high in placebo-treated mice as in probiotics-treated mice. This suggests that probiotics counteract the increased intestinal leakage.

Consistent with this finding, the intestinal lining of placebo-treated mice had a very chaotic structure compared to probiotic-treated mice. The intestines of placebo mice were completely devoid of villi, which absorb nutrients from food, and finger-like protrusions on the intestinal wall.

It is important to note that this study defines a particular bacterium that can prevent sepsis caused by another particular bacterium species, Otto says. This shows a difference from the often made claims for other probiotics, suggesting a wide range of health benefits, but does not provide a detailed understanding of the process, Says Otto.

“Treatment of sepsis in a safe manner has a significant impact on public health, especially these days when microbial infections have never received such dramatic public attention,” he said. .. Glen Gibson At the University of Reading, England.

Journal reference: Scientific translation medicine, DOI: 10.1126 /scitranslmed.abf4692

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Probiotics: Feeding mice harmless microorganisms prevents blood infections

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