New data from the US shows, using computational models, is providing insight into how gut microbiota respond to infection over time, and how the major alterations that occur when foreign bacteria disrupt the gut microbiota affect bacteria that naturally live in our intestines.
The findings may help clinicians to better treat and prevent gastrointestinal infection and inflammation.
The researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston, Massachusetts write in PLOS ONE: "Our gut contains ten-times more bacterial cells than there are human cells in our body," said Lynn Bry, MD, PhD, director of the BWH Center for Clinical and Translational Metagenomics, senior study author. "The behavior of these complex bacterial ecosystems when under attack by infection can have a big impact on our health”.
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