Bifidobacterium

Bifidobacterium is a genus of gram-positive, nonmotile, often branched anaerobic bacteria. They are ubiquitous inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract, vagina and mouth (B. dentium) of mammals, including humans. Bifidobacteria are one of the major genera of bacteria that make up the colon flora in mammals. Some bifidobacteria are used as probiotics. (source)

According to a Bangladeshi microbiota study published last month, poor vaccine efficacy is associated with systemic inflammation due to gut dysbiosis. Bifidobacteria were found a key factor in improving vaccine responsiveness. There are many known strains of bifidobacteria, some considered better than others. Bifidobacteria levels in the USA vary widely among individuals. Studies report much lower levels of bifidobacteria in children with autism. (source)

• Abundance associated with higher bacterial gene richness in the gut • Modulates local and systemic immune responses • Abundance lower in IBD • Abundance lower in IBS; low levels also correlate with symptom severity in IBS • Lower levels seen in type 2 diabetes, pediatric allergy, and autism • Increased levels in obese subjects compared to lean/overweight; infants with lower Bifidobacterium may have increased risk for weight gain in childhood • Abundance decreases after weight loss and gastric-bypass surgery (source)

“Overall, both of these microbes seem to be major players in the gut-brain axis. John Cryan, a neuroscientist at the University College of Cork in Ireland, has examined the effects of both of them on depression in animals. In a 2010 paper published in Neuroscience, he gave mice either bifidobacterium or the antidepressant Lexapro; he then subjected them to a series of stressful situations, including a test which measured how long they continued to swim in a tank of water with no way out. (They were pulled out after a short period of time, before they drowned.) The microbe and the drug were both effective at increasing the animals’ perseverance, and reducing levels of hormones linked to stress. Another experiment, this time using lactobacillus, had similar results. Cryan is launching a study with humans (using measurements other than the forced swim test to gauge subjects’ response).” (source)

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Actinobacteria

Actinobacteria: which are so important to a healthy microbiome that we can even take probiotic supplements of them, are the most common microbes on our skin and are commensal to our mouths and genitals too. It is in fact the suborder Propionibacteria that is the most frequent inhabitant of our skin. Some bacteria play different roles in male versus female microbiomes – and Actinobacteria happen to crop up a lot in the female camp. These microbes are major components of the female urinary microbiome and are also affected by changes caused by pregnancy. Gender differences aside, people with psoriasis have less of these bugs but people with ulcerative colitis tend to have more. Actinobacteria are also the most common bacteria in our noses. Beyond the microbiome, these microbes are found predominantly in soil and freshwater, and strains are known to produce a variety of biologically active compounds including antibiotics, antifungals, and plant and animal growth factors. The phylum Actinobacteria is made up of only one, eponymous, class (Source Ubiome).

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