Autism and the Early Bacterial Microbiome

Last month, a review paper[i] came out on the implications of the disruption of the  bacterial microbiome in autism.  I was hoping to find something new in it and was not disappointed. A few highlights. As the bacterial microbiota are crucial for the production of many important vitamins, they “…can exert an important influence over … More Autism and the Early Bacterial Microbiome

A Horror Story: How Leeches Helped Uncover a Terrible Truth About Antibiotic Resistance

This story[i] knocked my socks off.   Read on if you like horror stories. Dr. Joerg Graf at the University of Connecticut is a specialist in the microbiome of leeches, which contains only two major types of bacteria.  In 2011 though, one of his graduate students was having difficulty getting one of these, Aeromonas, to grow … More A Horror Story: How Leeches Helped Uncover a Terrible Truth About Antibiotic Resistance

A simple study for today’s post but also, a really, really, REALLY important one. Researchers at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia did a meta-analysis, covering 6,851 patients,  looking at whether or not giving a multi-strain probiotic reduces the incidence of Clostridia difficile infection (C.diff) in adults and children taking antibiotics.[i] I wrote about this hellish … More

Is a Virus the Ultimate Cause of Parkinson’s?

Many of you may not yet be familiar with the term bacteriophage.  These are viruses that infect bacteria:  literally the word means “bacteria eater.”  I’ve been reading about their  use in treating bacterial infection, as an alternative to antibiotics, especially in this age of growing antibiotic resistance.[i] Just last month, a clinical study was published … More Is a Virus the Ultimate Cause of Parkinson’s?

Autism and Desulfovibrio Bacteria: A Throw Back Thursday Gem

Today is a throw-back-Thursday.  I pulled out my overstuffed, supersized binder of great research articles I’ve collected over the years and arbitrarily flipped to one to write about.  It dates from 2011, and in this analysis of gut bacteria in children with regressive autism versus controls, the researcher found high levels of Desulfovibrio.[i]  (He also … More Autism and Desulfovibrio Bacteria: A Throw Back Thursday Gem

The American Gut Project: Some Initial Findings

In 2012, 3 scientists from the University of California, San Diego, started The American Gut Project, the largest crowd funded “citizen science project in existence.”[i]  Ordinary people can send in a stool sample along with a questionnaire (about diet and lifestyle choices), and $99 USD, and receive back an analysis of their bacterial microbiomes – … More The American Gut Project: Some Initial Findings

Allergies, Asthma, Antibiotics, Antacids…and Children

About 20 years ago, I was sitting in a waiting room at a doctor’s office and spotted an article in one of the magazines (maybe Time or Newsday?) on the coffee table that described recent research that showed that antibiotic use in the first 3 months of life was associated with an increased risk of … More Allergies, Asthma, Antibiotics, Antacids…and Children