Gut bacteria can help rebuild the immune system


ISLAMABAD, December 3 (online): For the first time, researchers have demonstrated how the gut microbiome the community of microorganisms living in the gut can influence the immune system in humans. Their work could lead to new treatments for immune-related conditions.
The researchers tracked the recovery of patients’ gut microbiota and immune system after bone marrow transplants (BMTs) following treatment for bloodcancers.
Healthcare professionals use chemotherapy and radiation therapy to destroy cancerous blood cells in conditions such as leukemia andlymphoma. After completion of the treatment, which also kills healthy immune cells, specialists inject patients with stem cells from a donor’s blood or bone marrow.
These donated cells slowly restore patients’ ability to make their own blood cells.
However, patients have to take antibiotics in the first few weeks after the transplant because they are still vulnerable to infections. These upset the balance of their gut microbiota, killing “friendly bacteria” and allowing dangerous strains to thrive.