Writing Exercise #3

Brainstorm a list of behaviors that an individual could engage in that could cause changes to a gut microbial community. For each behavior you list, discuss how that behavior could change the microbial community, and what potential health impacts (beneficial, detrimental, neutral) that change could be for the individual’s health.

Eating yogurt: This behavior delivers lactic acid bacteria to the gastrointestinal tract. This modifies the community by inhibiting lipopolysaccharide production and increasing the tight junctions in gut epithelial cells. Benefits: higher concentration of this bacteria in the gut is linked to lower prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, and low-grade peripheral inflammation.

Li Wen, Andrew Duffy, Factors Influencing the Gut Microbiota, Inflammation, and Type 2 Diabetes, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 147, Issue 7, July 2017, Pages 1468S–1475S,

Social Behavior: There is a symbiotic relationship between the host and gut microbes. Gut microbes help the host in development, fecundity, metabolism, immunity, and mental health. Since hundreds of microbial species live in the gut, there are multiple physiological roles gut microbes play that is still unknown to us. This has created a new perspective known as the gestalt perspective and Gestaltomics where the influence on the biome is looked at with relation to how it affects human physiological, behavioral, and cognitive processes. The three parameters by which social behavior was analyzed were due to stresses in the hosts’ social life, differences between solitary and social life; and effects caused by social structure. These effects could be beneficial or detrimental based on which parameter or microbial species is being analyzed.

Münger E, Montiel-Castro AJ, Langhans W, Pacheco-López G. Reciprocal Interactions Between Gut Microbiota and Host Social Behavior. Front Integr Neurosci. 2018;12:21. Published 2018 Jun 12. doi:10.3389/fnint.2018.00021


Sarid and Gao (2011) Response

As a healthcare professional, a colleague asks your opinion as to which HPV strains should be covered in a new treatment. Based on your reading from the Sarid and Gao 2011 article, what would your recommendation be, and when should the treatment be administered? What evidence supports your opinion? Keep in mind a cost/benefit analysis, as the cost of developing a vaccine for each strain can get very pricey! (You should not indicate “all of them” in your answer, unless you have strong supportive evidence).

Based on the Sarid and Gao (2011) article, I would tell my colleague that the HPV strains that should be covered in this new treatment are Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and Hepatitis B virus (HBV). KSHV is very important to be covered in a new treatment since “among AIDS patients, KSHV infection was shown to precede KS onset.” If KSHV is prevented from proliferating, the patient would be protected from not only KS but also other diseases that AIDS patients with lower immune systems might be susceptible to. When I first read this article, I was worried about how diminished someone’s immune system would become after an infection KSHV. The article states AIDS-related KS cancer instances “occur disproportionately among untreated HIV-positive/KSHV-infected individuals.” To protect immunocompromised people it is essential to cover this strain of infection.

I included Hepatitis B virus (HBV) as a strain that should be covered in the new treatment because this is the only direct strain of the HPV family that directly states WHY this strain is important to cover. The article states “HBV infection is chronic in a large proportion of individuals” and “100-fold more likely to develop HCC than uninfected individuals.” With this information, I believe the portion of people who suffer from HBV as well as the risk of developing HCC (not defined in the HBV section from what I can see) are at a much higher risk than the statistics for the other strains within this family.

I do not believe this article gave enough information for me to comprehensively create a treatment plan since there could be multiple unseen factors that are not included in this paper that could be affecting the patient. On many of these viral descriptions, I do not believe the article gave sufficient evidence for why the strains listed were important enough to be researched more. A majority of the information was a history of the strain which I did not believe was applicable to this assignment.


Writing exercise 1

List of non-infectious diseases that are created by microorganisms:

Allergies: caused by pollen

Lyme disease: caused by bacteria

Tuberculosis: caused by bacteria

Multiple sclerosis: can be caused by bacteria

Type 1 Diabetes: can be caused by bacteria

Cardiovascular disease: can be caused by virus or bacteria

Kawasaki disease: can be caused by virus or bacteria

Food poisoning: caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins

Salmonella: caused by bacteria

Prion disease: caused by mutated prion protein from animal products


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