Infections caused by anaerobic bacteria are common, and may be serious and life-threatening. Anaerobes predominant in the bacterial flora of normal human skin and mucous membranes, and are a common cause of bacterial infections of endogenous origin. Infections due to anaerobes can evolve all body systems and sites. The predominate ones include: abdominal, pelvic, respiratory, and skin and soft tissues infections. Because of their fastidious nature, they are difficult to isolate and are often overlooked. Failure to direct therapy against these organisms often leads to clinical failures. Their isolation requires appropriate methods of collection, transportation and cultivation of specimens. Treatment of anaerobic bacterial infection is complicated by the slow growth of these organisms, which makes diagnosis in the laboratory only possible after several days, by their often polymicrobial nature and by the growing resistance of anaerobic bacteria to antimicrobial agents.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Gut bacteria effect on brain function: Can probiotics help depression and anxiety?

Emerging studies have suggested that pathogenic and non-pathogenic gut bacteria might influence mood-related symptoms and even behavior in animals and humans. Recent studies illustrated  that gastrointestinal pathogens can communicate with the central nervous system and influence behavior associated with emotion, anxiety in particular, even at extremely low levels and in the absence of an immune response. Investigators have also shown that the administration of certain probiotic bacteria may support resilience and positively alter stress-related emotional behavior in animals under experimental stress. These probiotics organisms have the potential to influence mood-regulating systemic inflammatory cytokines, decrease oxidative stress and improve nutritional status when orally consumed

Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other functional somatic disorders have alterations in the intestinal microbial flora. A recent study evaluated the effect of probiotic on the emotional symptoms of 39 patients with CFS. The patients were randomized to receive either 24 billion colony forming units of Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota (LcS) or a placebo daily for two months.  A significant rise in both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in those taking the LcS, and there was also a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms among those taking the probiotic vs controls (p = 0.01). These results provide support to the presence of a gut-brain interface that may be mediated by microbes that reside or pass through the intestinal tract.

This preliminary research suggest the possibility that probiotics might influence anxiety and depression. The results of the present study should be a stimulus for further research about the utility of probiotics and their effects on anxiety and depression.

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