Back in September, I wrote about a summary I’d stumbled across describing the current state of research into the connection between the mycobiome and inflammatory bowel disease. Then, just a few days ago, I put up a link [i]on my Biome Buzz Facebook page about the connection between alterations in the mycobiome and obesity. (Briefly: mice fed a high fat diet had higher levels of Candida albicans in their guts than controls as well as alterations in the bacterial microbiome.)
Then today, I found out about research[ii] that came out earlier this month, examining other phenomena in the IBD/fungi connection. Apparently, people with IBD are known to have higher levels of the fungi Candida tropicalis well as the bacterial species, E. coli and Serratia marcescens. When grown separately in lab dishes, these 3 species form colonies but when mixed, they grow out of control and form large and robust biofilms. (Biofilms are “structured microbial communities that shield bacteria from antibiotics.”)
In the presence of these two species of bacteria, C. tropicalis stretches out into long filaments to which E.coli fuses. In the meantime, the S. marcescens forms protein strings that stabilize the growing biofilm. “Their partnership allows them to outcompete loner bacteria and fungi.” More than that, these biofilms cause intestinal inflammation.
The researchers propose that giving those with Crohn’s disease antifungal drugs and then adding in beneficial fungi could create a heather microbiome.
Says one of the scientists, “To get the whole picture…we’re going to need to start looking at the mycobiome in addition to the microbiome.”
Yeah – and the virome and macrobiome too!