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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Risk of loosing Healthy Microbes for Patients admitted to ICU

News from Washington DC mentions patients who are admitted to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) have differences in microbiome than of healthy patients. The research published in the journal mSphere. Researchers analyzed the ICU patients’ microbial taxa from guts to see drastic microbial imbalance and getting worse with the length of stay. On comparison to healthy people, ICU patients had depleted microbial populations especially commensial and helpful health promoting microbes. Instead there were higher counts of pathogenic strains. This made patients vulnerable to hospital acquired infections.

It is normally inferred previously that loosing microbes could make one person healthier but the recent research turned the table opposite.

Paul Wischmeyer, an anaesthesiologist at University of Colorado School of Medicine noted that the treatments used in ICU, such as application of powerful courses of antibiotics, medicines for maintaining blood preassure and lack of nutrition are the factors that can provoke the reduction of healthy bacteria.

Wischmeyer and his colleagues analyzed microbiomes collected from skin, stool and oral samples across 115 ICU patients from four hospitals of USA and Canada. They analyzed once in 48hours and then again after 10days in ICU. They also recorded the habitat in between the stay like the food they eat, treatments they receive, etc.

The result was compared with healthy subset of people who participated in American gut project dataset. According to their analysis, they found lower numbers of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes which are the largest commensials in gut, whereas there are larger increase in Proteobacteria that includes pathogens.

Now as the researchers have begun to understand how the microbiome changes in ICU, Wischmeyer’s next step is to identify treatments and possibly probiotics can able to restore the bacterial balance in patients.



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