Tag Archives: Health

Microbiome and Microbiota Basics


We hear a lot of discussions and research in progress regarding the Microbiome ……

What is the Microbiome?  A microbiome is “the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space.
Joshua Lederberg coined the term, arguing the importance of microorganisms inhabiting the human body in health and disease. Many scientific articles distinguish “microbiome” and “microbiota” to describe either the collective genomes of the microorganisms that reside in an environmental niche or the microorganisms themselves, respectively.However; by the original definitions these terms are largely synonymous.

The human body contains over 10 times more microbial cells than human cells, although the entire microbiome only weighs about 200 grams (7.1 oz), with some weight estimates ranging as high as 3 pounds (approximately 48 ounces or 1,400 grams).

it is regarded as a “newly discovered organ” since its existence was not generally recognized until the late 1990s and it is understood to have potentially overwhelming impact on human health – Modern techniques for sequencing DNA have enabled researchers to find the majority of these microbes, since the majority of them cannot be cultured in a lab using current techniques.

The human microbiome may have a significant role in auto-immune diseases (e.g., diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and perhaps some cancers).

It is ……the complete genetic content of all the microorganisms that typically inhabit a particular environment, especially a site on or in the human body, such as the skin or the gastrointestinal tract.

Sourece: Wikipedia

Antibiotic Resistance; Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million a year by 2050 unless serious actions are taken

To view the CBS News Video regarding the report on Superbug Infections – please click on the link below



This is a worldwide topic that will take everyone working together to create change………..

Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide – more than currently die from cancer – by 2050 unless action is taken, a study says.

They are currently implicated in 700,000 deaths each year.


Reported by the BBC News:  The analysis, presented by the economist Jim O’Neil,  said the costs would spiral to $100tn (£63tn).

He was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron in July to head a review of antimicrobial resistance.  Mr O’Neill told the BBC: “To put that in context, the annual GDP [gross domestic product] of the UK is about $3tn, so this would be the equivalent of around 35 years without the UK contribution to the global economy.”

The reduction in population and the impact on ill-health would reduce world economic output by between 2% and 3.5%.  The analysis was based on scenarios modelled by researchers Rand Europe and auditors KPMG. They found that drug resistant E. coli, malaria and tuberculosis (TB) would have the biggest impact.  In Europe and the United States, antimicrobial resistance causes at least 50,000 deaths each year, they said. And left unchecked, deaths would rise more than 10-fold by 2050.

He coined the acronyms Bric (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and more recently Mint (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey).He said the impact of the would be mostly keenly felt in these countries. “In Nigeria, by 2050, more than one in four deaths would be attributable to drug resistant infections, while India would see an additional two million lives lost every year.”

The review team believes its analysis represents a significant underestimate of the potential impact of failing to tackle drug resistance, as it did not include the effects on healthcare of a world in which antibiotics no longer worked. Joint replacements, Caesarean sections, chemotherapy and transplant surgery are among many treatments that depend on antibiotics being available to prevent infections.

The review team estimates that Caesarean sections currently contribute 2% to world GDP, joint replacements 0.65%, cancer drugs 0.75% and organ transplants 0.1%. This is based on the number of lives saved, and ill-health prevented in people of working age. Without effective antibiotics, these procedures would become much riskier and in many cases impossible.

The review team concludes that this would cost a further $100tn by 2050. Mr O’Neill said his team would now be exploring what action could be taken to avert this looming crisis.

This would include looking at:

  • how drug use could be changed to reduce the rise of resistance
  • how to boost the development of new drugs
  • the need for coherent international action concerning drug use in humans and animals

He noted that China would be hosting the G20 summit in 2016 and said he hoped this issue would be a focus of discussion.’Compelling’ He said scientists seemed more certain that drug resistance would be a major problem in the short term, than they were over climate change.    Prof Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer for England, said: “This is a compelling piece of work, which takes us a step forward in understanding the true gravity of the threat.”

The review team concludes that solving the problem of drug resistance will be far cheaper than doing nothing and there was “cause for optimism” that the right steps could be taken. This included university researchers and biotech entrepreneurs “teeming with ideas” including new drugs, vaccines and alternative therapies such as antibodies.

InvestmentLaura Piddock, professor of microbiology at the University of Birmingham, is focusing her research on bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, which are responsible for a growing level of drug resistant infections. Both are so-called gram-negative bacteria, which have a complex cell wall that acts as a barrier to drugs. If they do penetrate the wall, they are “vacuumed out” by the cell.  She said: “My team is looking at what are the switches in those bacteria which turn that vacuum cleaner off, and at molecules which would have the same effect. If we can do that, we can make the bacteria sensitive to antibiotics.” Prof Piddock said there had not been enough global investment in finding new drugs. She said: “It is very difficult to find drugs against bacteria like E.coli because they are so naturally resistant. “We need more investment and new business models to ensure the pipeline is filled with promising molecules, to ensure that we can solve this problem, and make sure the drugs are there when patients need them.

To review the article in its entirety please click on the link below:
  Article written by Fergus Walsh Fergus Walsh Medical correspondent

11 December 2014

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

New Years Goals vs Resolutions

Instead of New Years Resolutions – try to set reachable goals and avoid the disappointments.  Here are some helpful tips from healthcare counselors:

When setting goals, don’t forget to develop the action plan with deadlines,
The art of setting goals properly is so that they are in a good position to reach them.

Write the goals down and include each action needed to accomplish the goal. One suggestion after this list has been created – sit with another person who has no knowledge of what you want to accomplish and review each step. The reason for this is if someone else reads the steps and does not understand what to do or seems confused, then that is a a good indication that the steps are not complete or need adjusting.

The next step is to set a specific date for each step – this is important because it helps in moving forward and reaching the goal defined. The more progress made within a short period of time the better.

Constant forward momentum helps keep the actions on track and displays tangible proof that the plan is working.This plan will be accomplished and appreciated as you enjoy the New Year, recognize the success rather than setting a resolution that may never be achieved.

Celebrate the New Year with a new beginning never looking back because you are not going that way.

Have a very happy New Year with a positive new you.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff. ) Research Community – December 2013

Here’s the latest from the Clostridium difficile research community:

The 19.8kb Pathogenicity Locus or PaLoc of C.difficile expresses genes for the toxins as well as genes that regulate toxin production.  Additionally mobile genetic elements are also responsible for acquisition of antibiotic resistance genes.  Dingle et al. look at the evolutionary history of the mobile elements in C.difficile and suggest that PaLoc is mobilized rarely via homologous recombination, whereas Tn6218 is mobilized frequently through transposition.



Toxin regulation may also be controlled by additional genes other than the usual suspects present on the PaLoc such as flagella.  In B. subtilis, the sigma factor SigD controls flagellar synthesis, motility, therefore it is possible that a homolog of SigD present in the C.difficile 630 genome could also control toxin production.  A sigD mutant in C. difficile 630 ∆erm displayed decreased expression of genes involved in flagellar biosynthesis, and also of genes encoding TcdA and TcdB as well as TcdR, the positive regulator of the toxins. Thus, SigD appears to be the first positive regulator of the toxin synthesis via direct control of tcdR transcription in C. difficile



C. difficile is present in 60-70% of newborns and infantsIt has been speculated that newborns and infants lack the receptors for the disease-causing toxins secreted by C.difficile, and hence, are colonized, but remain disease-free. Alderbeth et al looked at the long term persistence of C.difficile in healthy infants from birth to ≥12 months of age.  Carriage of toxin producing genes was also characterized. Most strains (71%) were toxin producers, and 51% belonged to the 001 or 014 ribotypes, which often cause disease in adults. Toxin-producing strains colonizing young children for long time periods may represent a reservoir for strains causing disease in adults.



With the emergence of a hypervirulent strain of C. difficile (BI/NAP1/027), the epidemiology of C. difficile infection has rapidly changed in the last decade.  In addition to toxin A and toxin B, hypervirulent strains produce a third toxin, binary toxin.  Although it has been speculated that binary toxin has an additive effect to damage already caused by the other two toxins, Kuehne et al created knock out  combinations of isogenic toxin mutants of R20291 and assessed their virulence in hamsters. They reconfirm their previous findings where they show either toxin A or toxin B alone can cause fulminant disease in the hamster infection model. In addition they show that in a double toxin mutant (ABC+; ie, an isogenic mutant producing only CDT), 3 of 9 animals succumbed to disease, although symptoms vary from those typically associated with C.difficile infection. Signs of wet tail, hemorrhage and inflammation in their small intestines were observed, thus suggesting an independent role of CDT in causing disease.



For the first time the emergence of a hypervirulent strain of C. difficile (BI/NAP1/027) has been reported in China.



Type IV pili are non-covalently assembled appendages, characterized now in both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Peipenbrink et al show that C. difficile produces Type IV pili containing PilJ, a pilin with a novel dual-pilin fold. According to the suggested model, the C-terminal pilin domain is exposed in pili, providing a unique interaction surface. The novel fold of PilJ suggests a new mode for Type IV pilus function.



Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) has been suggested as a new treatment to manage Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Lofgren et al use a mathematical model of C. difficile within an intensive care unit (ICU), to examine the potential impact of routine FMT.  Results of this study suggest that the routine use of FMT represents a promising approach to reduce complex recurrent cases, but a reduction in CDI incidence will require the use of other methods to prevent transmission.



C Diff Foundation Welcomes Dr. Mark Davis, ND

C Diff Foundation welcomes Dr. Mark Davis, ND – Fecal Microbiota Transplant Committee Chairperson.
Dr. Davis graduated with honors in research from the National College of Natural Medicine, the nation’s oldest CNME-accredited Naturopathic Medical School. He is licensed by the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medicine, and a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians.

Dr. Davis resides in Portland, Oregon and is Medical Director of the Good Life Medicine Center. Dr. Davis utilizes Fecal Microbiota Transplants to treat multiple occurrences of C. diff. infections and C. diff colitis. Along with treating C. diff infections – his practice focuses on Allergies/Food Sensitivities, Gastrointestinal (IBS, Crohn’s, UC, etc.), General Practice Treatment Modalities Offered: Botanical Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Homeopathy, Naturopathic Manipulation.
We appreciate Dr. Davis’s professional support while sharing helpful information with others.

Welcome Dr. Mark Davis,ND!!