Lawrence Brandt, Professor of Medicine and Surgery Albert Einstein at College of Medicine in his research article titled “Fecal Transplantation for the Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection” (2012) concludes that fecal transplant therapy is a promising treatment option that has had excellent outcomes thus far. (2) Brandt provides a qualitative analysis summary of information gathered from previous studies involving fecal transplant therapy. (3) The purpose of this analysis is to emphasize the fact that fecal transplant therapy has been extremely successful in the past and to encourage its use in place of harmful antibiotics. (4) Brandt establishes a relationship with medical professionals exploring the use of fecal transplant therapy as well as patients who are potential candidates.
Individuals can alter their gut microbial communities in both positive and negative ways through a variety of different behaviors. For instance:
- Antibiotic use: the use of antibiotics may increase the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and pathogens, leading to detrimental effects on overall health.
- A diverse diet: maintaining a diverse, holistic diet allows for more types of bacteria to thrive thereby affecting an individual’s health in a positive way.
- Drinking too much alcohol: over-drinking can decrease the number of “good” bacteria in the gut which has a detrimental effect on an individual’s overall health.
- Physical activity: engaging in physical activity often leads to a more diverse gut flora and beneficial effects on overall metabolism.
- Sufficient sleep: getting enough rest can increase “good” bacteria, and have a beneficial effect on an individual’s health.
I would advise my colleague to look into the HPV strains 31 and 45 when considering which strains should be covered by this new treatment. These strains seem like the best choice because they are known to be particularly lethal and often affect younger women which implies that they can overtake a relatively healthy immune system. In addition, these strains (along with strains 16 and 18) compose about 80% of cervical cancers, so discovering a treatment would be enormously beneficial to the population.
The treatment should be administered in a similar fashion to the current HPV16 and HPV18 vaccines because these vaccines have been proven to significantly reduce the chances of contracting both of these strains. This means that the treatment series should begin around age 11 and the second dose can be given 6 months later. If this treatment becomes a routine vaccination like the HPV16 and HPV18, I am confident that we would see a drastic reduction in cervical cancer.
The benefit of funding this treatment would certainly outweigh the cost of the funding. Although this is an expensive endeavor, treatment for cervical cancer is significantly more expensive and causes far more personal trauma than a simple vaccine would. Therefore, funding HPV31 and HPV45 vaccines is certainly worth the price.
The first non-infectious disease that comes to mind is obesity. Although I don’t know a ton about possible relationships between obesity and microorganisms, I know that our gut is full of microorganisms that help us digest our food. Perhaps lacking certain microorganisms could result in obesity. Under the same train of thought, I think that Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is another non-infectious disease that may be the result of missing certain microorganisms in the body to help break down waste. Autoimmune disorders are the result of the body attacking itself so I believe that microorganisms could play a role in some of these diseases as well, although I do not know specifics.
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