New gut ecosystem model?

A new class of organisms may be cutting in on the classic, co-evolutionary, immune system-boosting tango between mammals and the beneficial bacteria that inhabit their guts: parasitic worms.Trichuris muris eggs with Escherichia coliImage courtesy of Kelly Hayes, University ofManchester Researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom report this week in Science that they have found that parasitic worms of the genus __Trichuris__ -- inhabitants of many a mammal's large intestine

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Jun 9, 2010
A new class of organisms may be cutting in on the classic, co-evolutionary, immune system-boosting tango between mammals and the beneficial bacteria that inhabit their guts: parasitic worms.
Trichuris muris eggs with Escherichia coli
Image courtesy of Kelly Hayes, University of
Manchester
Researchers at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom report this week in Science that they have found that parasitic worms of the genus __Trichuris__ -- inhabitants of many a mammal's large intestine -- are dependent upon common gut bacteria, such as __E. coli__, to reproduce inside their mammalian hosts. This means that the worms likely evolved alongside the bacteria that share their host and may play a more crucial role in building and modulating mammalian immune responses than previously expected. "Having a low number of worms that don't cause disease may be effective in developing a robust and effective immune response," University of Manchester microbiologist linkurl:Ian...
__Trichuris muris__ emerging from eggs
stimulated to hatch by __Escherichia coli__

Image courtesy of Kelly Hayes, University of
Manchester




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