Bacteriophages: Are they an overlooked driver of Parkinson's disease?

June 10, 2018

June 10, 2018 - Atlanta, GA - In the first study of its kind, researchers from the New York-based Human Microbiology Institute have discovered the role certain bacteriophages may play in the onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). The research is presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held from June 7th to June 11th in Atlanta, Georgia.

The researchers, led by George, Tetz, M.D., Ph.D., Human Microbiology Institute, showed that the abundance of lytic Lactococcus phages was higher in PD patients when compared to healthy individuals. This abundance led to a 10-fold reduction in neurotransmitter-producing Lactococcus, suggesting the possible role of phages in neurodegeneration. Comparative analysis of the bacterial component also revealed significant decreases in Streptococcus spp. and Lactobacillus spp. in PD.

Lactococcus are regulators of gut permeability and are enteric dopamine producers, which plays a primary role in PD. "The depletion of lactococcus due to high numbers of strictly lytic phages in PD patients might be associated with PD development and directly linked to dopamine decrease as well as the development of gastrointestinal symptoms of PD," said Dr. Tetz.

To explore bacterial and bacteriophage community compositions associated with PD, the researchers used shotgun metagenomics sequencing data of fecal microbiome from 32 patients with PD and 28 controls.

The results indicate that the decrease in Lactococci in the PD patients was due to the appearance of strictly lytic, virulent lactococcal phages belonging to the c2-like and 936 groups that are frequently isolated from dairy products. These results open a discussion on the role of environmental phages and phagobiota composition in health and disease.

"Bacteriophages have previously been overlooked as pathogenic factors, and the study points out their pivotal role in pathogenesis," said Dr. Tetz. Future research is needed to explore bacterial viruses as a diagnostic and treatment target for therapeutic intervention.
-end-
ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology showcases the best microbial sciences in the world and provides a one-of-a-kind forum to explore the complete spectrum of microbiology. ASM Microbe is held in Atlanta, GA from June 7-11, 2018.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of more than 30,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to promote and advance the microbial sciences.

ASM advances the microbial sciences through conferences, publications, certifications and educational opportunities. It enhances laboratory capacity around the globe through training and resources. It provides a network for scientists in academia, industry and clinical settings. Additionally, ASM promotes a deeper understanding of the microbial sciences to diverse audiences.

American Society for Microbiology

Related Microbiology Articles from Brightsurf:

79 Fellows elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
In January of 2015, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 79 new Fellows.

New discovery in the microbiology of serious human disease
Previously undiscovered secrets of how human cells interact with a bacterium which causes a serious human disease have been revealed in new research by microbiologists at The University of Nottingham.

4 cells turn seabed microbiology upside down
With DNA from just four cells, researchers reveal how some of the world's most abundant organisms play a key role in carbon cycling in the seabed.

87 scientists elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
Eighty-seven microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This release includes information about these articles: Specific Bacterial Species May Initiate, Maintain Crohn's; Bacteria Involved in Sewer Pipe Corrosion Identified; Antibodies to Immune Cells Protect Eyes In Pseudomonas Infection; Dangerous Form of MRSA, Endemic In Many US Hospitals, Increasing in UK.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Upcoming articles from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology include:

Microbiology brought to life in Nottingham
Antimicrobial insect brains, mouth bacteria behaving badly and the hundreds of microbial communities that lurk in household dust are just some of the highlights at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting in Nottingham next week.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

New text focuses on microbiology of historic artifacts
Historic and culturally important artifacts, like all materials, are vulnerable to microbial attack.

Read More: Microbiology News and Microbiology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.