Inflammatory Gut Environment Can Trigger Gut Infection

By Lillian So Chan

A recent study showed pathogenic bacteria were taking advantage of an inflammation-induced aerobic gut environment and using signals produced from the gut microbes there in order to trigger disease process and develop a prolonged gut infection.

A healthy gut environment and balanced gut microbiome may therefore be important in preventing the progression of gut infection. 

Using Citrobacter, a bacterium that infects mice and is a model for the human pathogen, E. coli, researchers found that the bacteria had to use certain chemicals produced from the gut microbiome in the imbalanced gut environment to spread and increase the gut infection.

The study, led by the University of Glasgow researchers, is the first time scientists have been able to show the process of bacteria infection inside a host, rather than in laboratory settings. This has allowed a much greater understanding of the key role played by the gut microbiome in the infection process, the new research reported.

The researchers believe their work demonstrated the importance of a healthy gut environment and the susceptibility to and the progression of pathogenic bacterial infections such as E. coli.



About the Author

Lillian So Chan is the founding editor of WellnessOptions, a print magazine and website, and author of the book WellnessOptions Guide to Health published by Penguin Books. With over thirty years of experience in journalism and editing, Lillian has established unique editorial directions for several award-winning publications. She has worked for Maclean’s, Canada's largest news magazine, and served as a Governor and Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Governors at the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.

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Reference

Connolly J P R, et al (2018) Nature Communications. 9: article 4187