JUN 14, 2021 10:22 AM PDT

Researchers Identify a Novel, Beneficial Bacterium

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Since researchers were able to use genetic technologies to reveal how important the gut microbiome is to human health, they've been revealing more connections between certain health conditions and specific gut microbes. For example, the research team of Patrice Cani, at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain) learned that a family of bacteria called Subdoligranulum, which is typically found in the gut microbiomes of healthy people, was often absent from the guts of diabetic and obese people. They wanted to know more about it.

Only one strain of bacteria from Subdoligranulum has been successfully grown in the lab, which was not the same one absent from obese people. It's been estimated that about 70 percent of human gut microbes are still unknown and uncultivated. The researchers took two years to grow about 200 strains of human gut microbes but weren't able to find any more members of the family.

They did isolate another previously undiscovered microbe, however. They named this newly-discovered bacterium Dysosmobacter welbionis, and now they've characterized it. This work has been reported in Gut.

The researchers have found that this microbe generates a molecule called butyrate, which is known to reduce the risk of colon cancer, and is also produced by many other bacteria. Butyrate can boost immunity, and strengthen the intestinal barrier. Dysosmobacter welbionis is also present at lower levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes compared to those without it.

After analyzing stool samples from 12,000 individuals around the world, the researchers determined that 70 percent of those people carried Dysosmobacter welbionis. The scientists were surprised that it hasn't been identified before this, and suggested it may be due in part to their culture techniques.

Image credit: Pixnio / Pete Wardell, USCDCP

A mouse model was also exposed to Dysosmobacter welbionis. The number of mitochondria in their cells was found to increase, sugar levels were decreased, and there were downstream anti-inflammatory impacts. This microbe may have therapeutic potential for type 2 diabetes and obesity like another bacteria called Akkermansia, which the Cani lab is studying.

The researchers want to investigate whether Dysosmobacter welbionis can be combined with Akkermansia to have an even stronger beneficial impact on obesity, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation.

Sources: AAAS/Eurekalert! via Université catholique de Louvain, Gut

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on over 30 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 70 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
MAY 20, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Gonorrhea Testing on the Go
MAY 20, 2021
Gonorrhea Testing on the Go
Forget lab-based tests—a new portable microfluidic device links to a mobile app, diagnosing gonorrhea in just 15 m ...
MAY 17, 2021
Microbiology
Bacteria Can Time Their DNA Replications by the Circadian Clock
MAY 17, 2021
Bacteria Can Time Their DNA Replications by the Circadian Clock
The circadian rhythm is the body's clock, and it influences physiology at the cellular level; it can help animals, inclu ...
MAY 25, 2021
Microbiology
Concern Grows About Emerging H5N8 Flu Virus
MAY 25, 2021
Concern Grows About Emerging H5N8 Flu Virus
Though suspected outbreaks have been documented since 1878, the first confirmed outbreak of bird flu, a highly pathogeni ...
JUN 20, 2021
Microbiology
Bacteria Can Shape-Shift to Survive in Different Conditions
JUN 20, 2021
Bacteria Can Shape-Shift to Survive in Different Conditions
Escherichia coli bacteria are known to live in the gut, and they can also sicken people if they contaminate food that ge ...
JUN 27, 2021
Microbiology
Dieting Impacts the Microbiome, Which May Affect Weight Loss In Turn
JUN 27, 2021
Dieting Impacts the Microbiome, Which May Affect Weight Loss In Turn
The many microbes in our gastrointestinal tract affect us, and they, in turn, are affected by what we eat. Scientists ar ...
JUL 07, 2021
Technology
New Device Inactivates Bacteria That Cause Ear Infections
JUL 07, 2021
New Device Inactivates Bacteria That Cause Ear Infections
Researchers may have developed a device that could offer new therapeutic benefits to ear infection patients. According t ...
Loading Comments...