It takes a while for science to catch up to what is already known by many people through observation and personal experience. This study from the University of Chicago is a good example. It’s also good to finally see science demonstrating what we already know about candida and antibiotics – “Take antibiotics and you’ll get candida!”
Although a well-functioning human intestine teems with a variety of microbial life, serious illness, long-term intravenous feeding, and multiple rounds of antibiotics wipe out much of this diversity. Inspection of 16S rRNA sequences from stool samples showed that the guts of five healthy volunteers harbored at least 40 bacterial genera. In contrast, in five of the 14 ICU patients in the study, 90 percent of the bacterial sequences were from just one taxon—typically a known pathogen, such as Enterococcus or Staphylococcus.
(What we see here is antibiotics wiping out 100 trillion bacteria in 5 to 7 days, leaving only the antibiotic resistant strains behind. These resistant strains are known pathogens that can cause illness and death, especially without the 100 trillion bacteria there to stop them.)
When a patient spends a long time in ICU, “the gut undergoes near-complete ecologic collapse,” said study coauthor John Alverdy, a gastrointestinal surgeon and researcher at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. In response to the “slash and burn” use of antibiotics, among other factors, “it’s like the Amazon rainforest. It falls apart.”
(I think “near complete collapse” says it all. The entire system is affected. It’s not just the bacteria. It’s everything.)
The 16S rRNA sequences were specific to bacteria, but culture analysis also showed the presence of the fungus Candida albicans or C. glabrata in most patients.
(Use antibiotics, get candida! It’s what we’ve been saying for decades.)
“It was so surprising that we found just two-member communities—only Candida and multidrug-resistant bacteria,” said microbiologist and study coauthor Olga Zaborina.
(Use antibiotics, get candida! The odds of developing serious conditions is very high, or at least the 120+ candida-related conditions that we know about – http://candidaplan.com/blog/568/120-common-candida-symptoms/)
“They actually considered the fungal component of the microbiome, which has been routinely ignored in hundreds of microbiome studies,” said Michael Lorenz, a microbiologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston who was not in involved in the study. “So the finding that there are these interactions between the bacterial and fungal components is one that people should be very aware of.”
(People are continually puzzled as to why MDs don’t know anything about candida. MDs rely on science to inform them and ignore the real-life experiences and complaints of their patients. Science on the other hand, hasn’t even been looking many times.)
To mimic the conditions in an ICU patient’s gut, the researchers grew the microbes in the presence of an opioid. Opioids often enter the gut in critically ill patients as part of a stress response, and are known to interact with the quorum-sensing signals that regulate bacterial virulence. Indeed, in two Candida-bacteria combinations, opioid treatment shifted bacterial behavior from commensal to pathogenic, killing a substantial proportion of worms.
( I think the take-away here is that stress + candida kills.)
…the study “gives clinicians important information that they’re to get the gut back to health as fast as they can. The quicker they can re-establish normal communities in the gut, the better it will be for the patient prognosis.”
(Sounds like everyone needs a Candida diet – www.candidaplan.com.)
While Alverdy and Zaborina continue to explore the antivirulence potential of phosphate treatment, they suggested that reconstituting a patient’s original community of gut microbes might be the best medicine. Before entering intensive care for organ transplants or other major procedures, patients may soon set aside their own healthy stool to be used for a future fecal transplant.
(It’s better than medicine, because it’s not medicine!)
Intensive Loss of Gut Bacteria Diversity – http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41076/title/Intensive-Loss-of-Gut-Bacteria-Diversity/
A. Zaborin et al., “Membership and behavior of ultra-low-diversity pathogen communities present in the gut of humans during prolonged critical illness,” mBio, doi:10.1128/mBio.01361-14, 2014.