(Press-News.org) Twenty to 50 per cent of all critically ill patients contract potentially deadly infections during their stay in the intensive care unit or in hospital after being in the ICU – markedly increasing the risk of death.
“Despite the use of antibiotics, hospital-acquired infections are a major clinical problem that persists to be a huge issue for which we don’t have good solutions,” says Dr. Braedon McDonald, MD, PhD, an intensive care physician at the Foothills Medical Centre (FMC) and assistant professor at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM). “We tackled this issue from a different angle. We looked at the body’s natural defense to infection to better understand why some people are more susceptible to these deadly infections.”
The study involved 51 patients newly admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at FMC. Patients were studied over the first week of acute critical illness. The research showed that the gut microbiota and systemic immunity work together as a dynamic “metasystem,” in which problems with gut microbes and immune system dysfunction are associated with significantly increased rates of hospital-acquired infections.
“The signal that we’ve seen in our research is that a family of bacteria, that naturally live in the gut, seems to be important for directing the immune system,” says Jared Schlechte, PhD candidate in McDonald’s lab and first author of the study. “However, during critical illness the microbiome becomes injured allowing these bacteria to start taking over.”
The study published in Nature Medicine found that patients who experienced an abnormal increase in the growth of this common bacteria, called a bloom, were at the highest risk of severe infections.
“This information is important because it gives us a whole new avenue to start thinking about not just ways to treat infections, but a potential treatment to prevent them,” says McDonald. “The findings suggest that if we want to fight infection, we can’t just target these bad bacteria in isolation and the immune system in isolation. We really need to have a more holistic view of how things are functioning.” McDonald says the study’s findings
As a next step, McDonald and the team plan to launch a randomized, controlled clinical trial – based on a precision medicine approach that borrows from probiotics therapy, and utilizes multiple different bacteria engineered to specifically target the bacteria identified in the study. People who agree to participate will be given engineered microbiomes.
“What we’re trying to do is restore the normal mechanism that work when we’re healthy, and take advantage of that to help protect people from infections,” McDonald says.
UCalgary faculty co-authors included Drs. Christopher Doig, MD, Kathy McCoy, PhD, and Mary Dunbar, MD. PhD candidate Amanda Zucoloto, along with research technician and laboratory manager Ian-Ling Yu, also co-authored the study. The study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Alberta Health Services Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network.
Braedon McDonald is an assistant professor in the Department of Critical Care Medicine at the Cumming School of Medicine (CSM), an intensive care physician at the Foothills Medical Centre, and a member of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases at CSM.
The Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases is a team of more than 480 clinician-scientists and basic scientists dedicated to uncovering new knowledge leading to disease prevention, tailored medical applications and ultimately cures for those with chronic and infectious disease. Visit snyder.ucalgary.ca and follow @SnyderInstitute to learn more.
A healthy microbiome may prevent deadly infections in critically ill people
UCalgary study looks at the interaction between the human gut and the immune system
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Academic institutions receive lower financial returns from biotechnology licenses than commercial firms
BENTLEY UNIVERSITY The financial terms of biotechnology licenses from academic institutions are significantly less favorable than those of comparable licenses between commercial firms according to a new study from Bentley University’s Center for Integration of Science and Industry. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, shows that the royalties and payments to academic institutions are significantly lower than those to commercial firms for similar licenses and products at the same stages of development. The article, titled “Comparing the economic terms of biotechnology licenses from academic institutions with those ...
Harnessing nature to promote planetary sustainability
As Earth’s population grows, the demands of modern lifestyles place mounting strain on the global environment. Proposed solutions to preserve and promote planetary sustainability can sometimes prove more harmful than helpful. However, technologies that harness natural processes could be more successful. Such technologies are the focus of the latest issue of the open access journal PLOS Biology, which features a special collection publishing March 31st of papers highlighting biology-based solutions that could be applied to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, eliminate non-degradable plastics, produce food or energy ...
Study examines how social rank affects response to stress
Can an individual’s social status have an impact on their level of stress? Researchers at Tulane University put that question to the test and believe that social rank, particularly in females, does indeed affect the stress response. In a study published in Current Biology, Tulane psychology professor Jonathan Fadok, PhD, and postdoctoral researcher Lydia Smith-Osborne looked at two forms of psychosocial stress — social isolation and social instability — and how they manifest themselves based on social rank. They conducted their research on adult female mice, putting them in pairs and allowing them to form a stable ...
The stars in the brain may be information regulators
Long thought of as “brain glue,” the star-shaped cells called astrocytes—members of a family of cells found in the central nervous system called glial that help regulate blood flow, synaptic activity, keep neurons healthy, and play an important role in breathing. Despite this growing appreciation for astrocytes, much remains unknown about the role these cells play in helping neurons and the brain process information. “We believe astrocytes can add a new dimension to our understanding of how external and internal information is merged in the ...
The Institut Pasteur and the University of São Paulo sign articles of association to establish the Institut Pasteur in São Paulo
On Friday March 31st, 2023 at a ceremony in Paris, the Institut Pasteur President, Professor Stewart Cole, and the University of São Paulo (USP) Rector, Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Junior, signed articles of association for the Institut Pasteur in São Paulo, a private non-profit organization under Brazilian law. The mission of the institute, an associate member of the Pasteur Network, is to conduct research in the field of biology that contributes to the development of human health, and to promote outreach, education, innovation and knowledge transfer activities and public health measures. The Institut Pasteur ...
Mathematical model provides bolt of understanding for lightning-produced X-rays
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In the early 2000s, scientists observed lightning discharge producing X-rays comprising high energy photons — the same type used for medical imaging. Researchers could recreate this phenomenon in the lab, but they could not fully explain how and why lightning produced X-rays. Now, two decades later, a Penn State-led team has discovered a new physical mechanism explaining naturally occurring X-rays associated with lightning activity in the Earth’s atmosphere. They published their ...
nTIDE March 2023 Deeper Dive: Intersection of race and disability perpetuate inequalities in employment impacting Black/African American people with disabilities
East Hanover, NJ – March 31, 2023 – Since the pandemic, gains in the labor market have been slower to materialize for black/African American people with disabilities compared to their white counterparts, according to experts speaking last Friday during the nTIDE Deeper Dive Lunch & Learn Webinar. They discussed potential factors underlying why the disability employment gap is wider among members of the black/African American population when compared to the white population and how to integrate measures to effect change. Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for persons ages 16-64, the monthly employment-to-population ratio averaged ...
Researchers uncover the first steps driving antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic resistance is a global health threat. In 2019 alone, an estimated 1.3 million deaths were attributed to antibiotic resistant bacterial infections worldwide. Looking to contribute a solution to this growing problem, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have been studying the process that drives antibiotic resistance at the molecular level. They report in the journal Molecular Cell crucial and surprising first steps that promote resistance to ciprofloxacin, or cipro for short, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics. The findings point at potential ...
Study reveals new insights into body salt handling
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A new study led by Marshall University researchers focuses on a novel mechanism of the body’s regulation of salt balance. The kidney plays a central role in the body’s ability to maintain an appropriate sodium balance, which is critical for the determination of blood pressure. Disorders of sodium balance contribute to the development and progression of many common diseases, including hypertension, heart disease and stroke. Na/K-ATPase (NKA) is the enzymatic machinery that drives absorption of sodium along the renal proximal tubule. As ...
A tighter core stabilizes SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in new emergent variants
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Just as a tight core is a component of good physical fitness for humans, helping to stabilize our bodies, mutations that tightened the core of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in new variants may have increased the virus’s fitness. New research led by Penn State reveals that the stem region of the spike protein became progressively tighter over time, and the team thinks this likely improved the virus’s ability to transmit through nasal droplets and infect host cells once in the body. The team said the stem region of the protein that emerged in the most recent Omicron variants is as rigid as it can get, which could ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
Shedding light on the complex flow dynamics within the small intestine
UK cardiology societies issue joint policy statement to stamp out bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the specialty
Predominance of young Asian men among large UK case series of laughing gas users
Ketamine nasal spray may prove safe and effective treatment for refractory migraine
The clams that fell behind, and what they can tell us about evolution and extinction
Medical school does not equip new doctors for the real working world, junior doctor warns
Unique “bawdy bard” act discovered, revealing 15th-century roots of British comedy
Saved from extinction, Southern California’s Channel Island Foxes now face new threat to survival
Genetic change increased bird flu severity during U.S. spread
New Jersey Health Foundation awards grants to Kessler Foundation to advance research in brain and spinal cord stimulation methods
Extracting a clean fuel from water
NJIT researchers awarded $4.6m to unlock mysteries of solar eruptions
Extended lymph node removal does not benefit patients with clinically localized muscle-invasive bladder cancer
Study finds sex education tool improves reproductive health knowledge among adolescent girls
No-till revolution could stop Midwest topsoil loss in its tracks
Computational method uncovers the effects of mutations in the noncoding genome
Extreme precipitation in northeast to increase 52% by the end of the century
Lung infection may be less transmissible than thought
Experimental decoy protects against SARS-CoV-2 infection
Light conveyed by the signal transmitting molecule sucrose controls growth of plant roots
Mitigating climate change through restoration of coastal ecosystems
Flexible nanoelectrodes can provide fine-grained brain stimulation
Teens with irregular sleep patterns have higher risk of school problems
Genetic risk information may help people avoid alcohol addiction
Advances in technology are driving popularity of EVs
Newborns with higher hair cortisol levels take longer to fall asleep
That’s not nuts: Almond milk yogurt packs an overall greater nutritional punch than dairy-based
Using AI to create better, more potent medicines
Quest for alien signals in the heart of the Milky Way takes off
Deconstructing the role of MALAT1 in MAPK-Signaling in melanoma[Press-News.org] A healthy microbiome may prevent deadly infections in critically ill people
UCalgary study looks at the interaction between the human gut and the immune system