The composition of the intestinal flora (intestinal microbiota) would influence the severity and recurrence of intestinal parasitic infections according to a new study. This opens the door to new prevention methods.
More than a billion people around the world suffer from intestinal parasitic infections, mostly in developing countries, according to the WHO, but not only.
Researchers at the University of Washington School of Medicine report in a study that manipulating microbial populations of intestinal flora (or microbiome) could protect against intestinal parasites.
The importance of the constitution of the microbiota
"People who have had digestive parasitosis, or who have repetitive parasitic infections, have a different microbiome than people who do not have intestinal parasitosis," explains Makedonka Mitreva, associate professor of medicine and lead author. study published in the journal Microbiome on February 28, 2018.
Helminthiases (infection with intestinal worms) are more common in tropical or subtropical areas due to poor sanitation and favorable conditions for their development. The aim of their study was to establish common patterns of intestinal microbiota associated with a high risk of gastrointestinal parasitosis or, conversely, low in two remote geographical regions: West Africa and Southeast Asia. Is.
The role of inflammation
In a placebo-controlled trial, the researchers identified 12 microorganisms in the intestinal flora that are associated with parasitic infections and one type of bacteria (Lachnospiracae) which would be associated with an absence of parasitosis.
In people without parasitosis, there are often intestinal bacteria that are associated with increased inflammation, an environment that would complicate the task of helminths to become established.
Researchers believe, indeed, that an inflammatory bacterial environment prevents the development of worms in the gut because parasitized people, there is a bacterium rather anti-inflammatory (Olsenella).
Protect yourself naturally
In the long term, researchers want to develop natural methods to modify the composition of the intestinal microbiome to protect individuals from re-infection. The composition of the gut microbiota would also predict who is most likely to contract severe and chronic infections in order to optimize their prevention.
Ideally, they want to be able to offer foods that can alter the composition of the microbiome to cause a decrease in the rate of re-infection, and especially that people can fight the infection by themselves.