Common Chronic ConditionsHealth Trends

Parasite Infestations May be Linked to Gut Microbiome

A team of researchers have found that the presence of parasite infection may be linked to the micro-organisms in a person’s gastrointestinal tract, what is called the gastrointestinal microbiome.

Parasite infestations are common in tropical regions and less industrialized areas and range from mild-to-moderate infections such as gut worm infections.

A new study has found links between these parasite infections and one’s gut microbiome. Using genetic analysis to characterize the gastrointestinal microbiome of 575 Cameroonians of different ethnic groups and vastly different lifestyles, the scientists found that someone’s gut microbial population played a role in what kind of parasites that could infect them. They found that gut microbiome could predict the presence of four common gut parasites – Ascaris lumbricoides, Necator Americanus, Trichuris trichuria, and Stongyloides Stercoralis, with almost 80 percent accuracy.

The study team says these findings could lead to development of new therapeutic and preventive strategies against parasitic infections, including strategies that change the gut microbiome in a way that will lower one’s risk of acquiring a parasite or reduce its effects on the body.

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