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Viral Con Foils Drug-Resistant Microbes, May Nix Need For Poop Transplants (arstechnica.com) 33

schwit1 writes: The researchers, led by immunologists at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, got started on the idea of harnessing a viral decoy knowing that such germs normally manipulate and prune the gut microbiome. The community of viruses that bustle in human guts -- called the virome or microvirome -- trigger anti-microbial immune responses that can put the microbial communities on lock down, preventing new microbes from colonizing. Such a state of "colonization resistance" in the gut could thwart harmful germs from moving in, particularly when the microbiome is imbalanced and vulnerable after antibiotic treatments, the researchers hypothesized -- and they found they were right.
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Viral Con Foils Drug-Resistant Microbes, May Nix Need For Poop Transplants

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is interesting from a test bathroom but can these viruses replace poop at web scale?

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:14PM (#51598827) Homepage Journal
    I think it's talking about gut bacteria and using highly resistant beneficial bacteria to prevent harmful bacteria moving in if someone is on anti-biotics (or something vaguely like that anyway.) But what is a "Poop transplant"?
    • But what is a "Poop transplant"?

      It's something you search for on Pornhub, I think.

    • by Hylandr ( 813770 )

      The word that everyone is missing is 'Probiotics'.

      Replace one word with something unintelligible and an old article can be recycled into something new.

    • by jouassou ( 1854178 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:34PM (#51598915) Homepage
      Sometimes, after heavy antibiotics, important bacteria that you have in your intestines are wiped out by the antibiotics. To restore balance to your gut after heavy antibiotics, the usual option is to withdraw some poop from another person, and transplant that into your intestines, so that you get back the bacteria that are supposed to live there. TFA is about a way to prevent this from becoming necessary.
    • A poop transplant is used to replace the bacteria in someone's gut. Start with a heavy dose of antibiotics to kill what's there already. Then you take a pill containing someone else's poop to start a new biome. Mary Roach's Gulp has a chapter on it, and the whole book is a blast to read.
    • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @01:55PM (#51599039)

      I think it's talking about gut bacteria and using highly resistant beneficial bacteria to prevent harmful bacteria moving in

      No. The summary is so badly written that hard to tell what it is about, but the researchers tricked the mouse immune system into suppressing gut viruses so that the beneficial bacteria could recover faster after antibiotics. Here is a link to the paper [sciencemag.org].

      But what is a "Poop transplant"?

      Fecal bacteriotherapy [wikipedia.org]

      • I understood the paper differently, researchers used gut viruses to trick the mouse immune system to go into a "colonization resistance" state that prevent the appearance of pathogenic bacteria, eventually they only needed to directly stimulate the immune system to reach the same state.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly what it sounds like. If someone has a dodgy gut microbiome (say due to large doses of antibiotics to cure something else) then one way to give back the bugs they need to have a healthy gut is to take poo (full of the sort of bacteria you need for a healthy gut function) from a healthy person and... well, would you prefer that in pill form or as a suppository?

  • I've been dreading my poop transplant for weeks.

  • Doesn't anyone have **any** reading comprehension any more? EVEN TFS, albeit clumsily, explains it correctly: that it's viral agents controlling the ability of bacteria to attach to the host and grow.

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