Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023
    New Gut Microbe Found: Producer of Smelly Gas, but Protects Against Pathogens

    Researchers from the University of Vienna, led by microbiologist Alexander Loy, have discovered a new intestinal microbe called Taurinivorans muris. This microbe feeds exclusively on taurine, an amino acid found in meat, dairy, and seafood. It is also known to produce hydrogen sulfide, the foul-smelling gas responsible for unpleasant flatulence. However, this gas has important physiological functions, including protecting against pathogens such as Klebsiella and Salmonella.

    The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in various aspects of our health, including the production of hydrogen sulfide. While small amounts of this gas are beneficial, excessive levels can be detrimental and cause gut inflammation and damage to the intestinal lining. Understanding the process behind the production of hydrogen sulfide in the gut is essential for developing potential therapeutic interventions for conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.

    Taurinivorans muris is unique because it specializes in consuming taurine. Taurine has been linked to healthy aging and is an essential nutrient for various physiological processes. This discovery of a gut microbe that exclusively feeds on taurine provides valuable insights into the relationship between these microbes and our health.

    To access sufficient taurine in the gut, Taurinivorans muris relies on other gut microbes to release it from bile acids. The activities of these bacteria in the gut also influence bile acid metabolism in the liver. Therefore, understanding the complex interactions in bile acid metabolism contributes to our understanding of overall body processes and diseases.

    One of the important functions of gut microbes is their defense against pathogens. Taurinivorans muris, through the production of hydrogen sulfide, plays a protective role against pathogens like Klebsiella and Salmonella. However, the exact mechanism of how Taurinivorans muris protects against pathogens is not yet fully understood.

    This study provides fundamental knowledge about the physiological interactions between gut microbes and their hosts. It sheds light on the importance of taurine in the gut and the potential for developing microbiome-based therapies. Further research in this area may lead to breakthroughs in understanding and treating various gut-related conditions.

    Source: University of Vienna