In the primary research article “Symbiotic gut microbes modulate human metabolic phenotypes” (2007), Min Li et al attempt to explain the link between populations of gut microbes in humans and the humans’ metabolic phenotype through a transgenomic approach. The researchers sampled fecal and urine samples from seven Chinese individuals, each sampled twice, and analyzed them through spectroscopic, microbiomic, and multivariate tools. The purpose of this research was to develop a method of determining metagenomics in the human gut microbe. This study has the potential to influence further research into the field of gut microbiology and the consequences of different phenotypic irregularities.
This prompt was a tough one to think about. A non-infectious disease caused by microorganisms? Yikes. Honestly, I couldn’t think of any myself off the top of my head, so I turned to the glorious site we call Google and did some research. Here’s what I came up with:
- appendicitis: an infection of the appendix that could have been caused by a traveling stomach bug
- asthma: inflammation of the lungs that could be caused by an infection or allergen
- allergies: I’m not sure if this is considered a disease, but it’s definitely a reaction in the human body that cannot be passed between people and is caused by microorganisms!
- emphysema: difficulty breathing caused by small particulates (microorganisms??) like ash and smoke from chronic smoking
- IBS: one reason for irritable bowel syndrome could be due to inflammation of the bowel due to an infection by microorganisms
I did not realize how difficult it would be to think of diseases that were caused by microorganisms but are not passed between people. There are far fewer than I thought. While I was able to find a long list of non-infectious diseases, most of them were autoimmune, cancer, or due to environmental factors that have nothing to do with microorganisms, such as obesity, heart disease, or kidney failure. I am excited to learn more about this section of diseases and am looking forward to realizing how many more things I was totally unaware of (like diseases not passed from person to person but still involve bacteria- how cool!?)