Microbial Wildlife Managers and Antibiotics

Bacteria are generally associated with health problems, diseases and other negative situations. Of course, science reveals that there are positive, and even necessary bacteria that reside in every human body. Recent studies have investigated further into the microbiome that is the body, identifying more than 100 trillion resident microbes.

“I would like to lose the language of warfare,” National Human Genome Research Institute’s Julie Segre said of antibiotics. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have so-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.”

The New York Times explains:

“This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers.“No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes.”  -Carl Zimmer, NY Times

Michael A. Fischbach added “I cannot wait for this to become a big area of science.”