10:37 AM
 | 
Dec 07, 2017
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Fungi fill the void

Can fungi substitute for bacteria in the microbiome?

In a Cell Host & Microbe study published last month, a team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center showed that replacing commensal bacteria with fungi reduced intestinal injury and prevented fatal lung infection in mice, underscoring the potential for harnessing non-bacterial components of the microbiome to treat disease.

Microbiome analyses have focused on bacteria primarily because of the dominant number of bacterial cells and technical advances that allow bacteria to be cultured and sequenced faster and more easily than their fungal and viral counterparts. As a result, most studies have highlighted the activities of bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS), peptidoglycans and other immune modulators and the potential to treat disease with bacterial strains or molecular mediators.

However, according to Sing Sing Way, an associate professor of infectious disease at Cincinnati Children’s who led the study, it’s...

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