Internal conflict: How we can make friends with harmful bacteria

 作者:宦诫     |      日期:2019-03-03 04:14:01
Renaud Vigourt By Drew Smith YOU are home to 10,000 species of bacteria. The vast majority, more than 99 per cent, cause you no harm. Indeed, many actually help by providing you with nutrients, tuning your immune system, balancing your metabolism and warding off mood disorders. You depend on these bugs. Yet as anyone who’s had an upset stomach after taking antibiotics can attest, when we target the dangerous minority of disease-causing species, we often wind up killing off the good ones too. Now, after generations of doctors prescribing antibiotics for every sniffle, we know that the collateral damage goes well beyond the occasional tummy ache. Indiscriminately wiping out bacteria may be contributing to rising levels of asthma, allergies, obesity and many more conditions. These effects, together with the growing threat from antibiotic resistance, have some researchers advocating a sea change in the battle against the bugs: after 70 years of fighting to wipe them out, it may be time for a truce. If we can disarm harmful bacteria without killing them, we may be able to reduce antibiotic resistance, take the strain off these overworked drugs and leave our helpful inhabitants be. Doing so may even mean resurrecting some forgotten strategies from the past. If the 20th century was defined by our ability to kill off deadly bugs, then the 21st will be known as the era in which we learned to get along. Source: US Centers for Disease Control In the latter part of the 19th century,