Micronutrient deficiencies linked to intestine microbiome shifts and antibiotic resistance

College of B.C. researchers have uncovered startling connections between micronutrient deficiencies and the composition of intestine microbiomes in youth that would assist clarify why resistance to antibiotics has been rising throughout the globe.

The staff investigated how deficiencies in essential micronutrients resembling vitamin A, B12, folate, iron, and zinc affected the neighborhood of micro organism, viruses, fungi and different microbes that stay within the digestive system.

They found that these deficiencies led to vital shifts within the intestine microbiome of mice-;most notably an alarming enlargement of micro organism and fungi identified to be opportunistic pathogens.

Importantly, mice with micronutrient deficiencies additionally exhibited the next enrichment of genes which were linked to antibiotic resistance.

Micronutrient deficiency has been an ignored issue within the dialog about international antibiotic resistance. It is a vital uncover

y, because it means that nutrient deficiencies could make the intestine surroundings extra conducive to the event of antibiotic resistance, which is a significant international well being concern.”

Dr. Paula Littlejohn, postdoctoral analysis fellow with UBC’s division of medical genetics and division of pediatrics, and the BC Kids’s Hospital Analysis Institute

Micro organism naturally possess these genes as a protection mechanism. Sure circumstances, resembling antibiotic stress or nutrient stress, trigger a rise in these mechanisms. This poses a menace that would render many potent antibiotics ineffective and result in a future the place frequent infections may develop into lethal.

Antibiotic resistance is usually attributed to overuse and misuse of antibiotics, however the work of Dr. Littlejohn and her UBC colleagues means that the ‘hidden starvation’ of micronutrient deficiencies is one other necessary issue.

“Globally, round 340 million youngsters underneath 5 endure from a number of micronutrient deficiencies, which not solely have an effect on their progress but in addition considerably alter their intestine microbiomes,” stated Dr. Littlejohn. “Our findings are notably regarding as these youngsters are sometimes prescribed antibiotics for malnutrition-related diseases. Paradoxically, their intestine microbiome could also be primed for antibiotic resistance because of the underlying micronutrient deficiencies.”

The examine, revealed this week in Nature Microbiology, affords essential insights into the far-reaching penalties of micronutrient deficiencies in youth. It underscores the necessity for complete methods to deal with undernutrition and its ripple results on well being. Addressing micronutrient deficiencies is about greater than overcoming malnutrition, it might even be a essential step in combating the worldwide scourge of antibiotic resistance.


College of British Columbia

Journal reference:

Littlejohn, P. T., et al. (2023). A number of micronutrient deficiencies in youth trigger multi-kingdom alterations within the intestine microbiome and intrinsic antibiotic resistance genes in mice. Nature Microbiology.

Emily Thompson

Dr. Emily Thompson is a highly respected medical professional and seasoned health journalist, contributing her expertise to our news website. With a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and over 15 years of experience in clinical practice, Dr. Thompson possesses a deep understanding of various health issues.
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