Targeted Restoration of the Intestinal Microbiota

The gut infection Clostridium difficile can be defeated by a cocktail of rival good bacteria, experiments in mice show. When C. difficile bacteria overwhelm the gut, it can be fatal and difficult to treat with antibiotics. A UK team showed a combination of six bacteria could clear the infection. Read more…


Pathological imbalances within the intestinal microbiota, termed dysbiosis, are often associated with chronic Clostridium difficile infections in humans. We show that infection of mice with the healthcare pathogen C. difficile leads to persistent intestinal dysbiosis that is associated with chronic disease and a highly contagious state. Using this model we rationally designed a simple mixture of phylogenetically diverse intestinal bacteria that can disrupt intestinal dysbiosis and as a result resolve disease and contagiousness. Our results validate the microbiota as a viable therapeutic target and open the way to rationally design bacteriotherapy to treat chronic C. difficile infections and potentially other forms of persistent dysbiosis. Read more…


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