Researchers Prove the Immune System Can Affect Microbiota Evolution

Researchers Prove the Immune System Can Affect Microbiota Evolution
A new study by researchers at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) in Portugal revealed that when the body has its own immune system compromised, as happens in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),nthe composition of the gut bacteria (microbiota) changes, and the predictability and speed of the adaptation process of the microbiota is affected. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications and is entitled “Adaptive immunity increases the pace and predictability of evolutionary change in commensal gut bacteria”. It is well-established that the human health is strongly associated  with the diversity of the microbiota that inhabits the intestinal tract and the way how the immune system tolerates it. Gut bacteria have to adapt and evolve depending on the environment they inhabit and the different stimuli they may receive, such as diet. This evolution leads to a higher diversity in microbiota, and the immune system acts as a surveillance mechanism to prevent the development of harmful bacteria and diseases. It has been hypothesized that the immune system can, in fact, influence the evolution of gut bacteria, although this possibility has never been proven. IGC researchers have proven experimentally, for the first time, that the hypothesis is correct. Researchers investigated how the bacteria Escherichia coli, which is one of the first bacteria to colonize the intestine at birth, evolved using two type of mice: healthy mi
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