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    Medicine

Bacterial flora of remote tribespeople and antibiotic resistance

Scientists have found antibiotic resistance genes in the bacterial flora of a South American tribe that never before had been exposed to antibiotic drugs. The findings suggest that bacteria in the human body have had the ability to resist antibiotics since long before such drugs were ever used to treat disease.

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I read this last week Brent and think it's amazing that the flora in industrialized nation is 40% less diverse.  I wonder if this is a product of: 1) Antibiotics 2) Modern Agriculture and 3) less exposure to dirt and being outside.  This is a very interesting topic! 04-21-2015 5:05am

Dr. Reiss,  | I believe you are spot on! The combination of eating foods such as meat from livestock treated with antibiotics, the over use of prescription antibiotics, and not allowing our children (and us too!) to play in the dirt,... more »Dr. Reiss,  | I believe you are spot on! The combination of eating foods such as meat from livestock treated with antibiotics, the over use of prescription antibiotics, and not allowing our children (and us too!) to play in the dirt, have all contributed to a reduced diversity of the microbiome. Undoubtably we have better survival rates compared to the past, but now live lives ridden with disease and illness. I'm not sure which is better, an early demise after a happy and healthy life, or postponed-death following a life filled with chromic illnesses and a loss in the quality of life. Interesting to think about... 04-21-2015 4:16pm

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Comment by Brent L Younglove

Good question Brent. I suppose both/and as opposed to either/or?  Make healthy lifestyle choices to increase the probability of living a high quality, long life.  Or as someone much wiser than me said "live long and... more »Good question Brent. I suppose both/and as opposed to either/or?  Make healthy lifestyle choices to increase the probability of living a high quality, long life.  Or as someone much wiser than me said "live long and prosper".  I have often wondered if many of these chronic diseases are literally just  "by products" of life?  We have to die of something and if it isn't something acute, chronic it will be.  Perhaps aging is a "chronic disease" we have always just accepted. 04-21-2015 8:20pm

Very interesting NPR article. Falls right in line with the antibiotic article I posted. It's astounding how simple changes to our daily lives (like clean water, antibiotics, etc) have a huge impact on the development of our microbiome. One... more »Very interesting NPR article. Falls right in line with the antibiotic article I posted. It's astounding how simple changes to our daily lives (like clean water, antibiotics, etc) have a huge impact on the development of our microbiome. One question I have for you, do we pass on our microbiome from mother to offspring? How are a diverse group of bacteria first introduced into a child's digestive system after exiting an otherwise closed system? It seems as though it may take years to develop a diverse microbiome, and perhaps we will never be able to achieve the microbiome present within the indigenous people of the rainforest, as it is not local to our environment. Perhaps we should be comparing the microbiome of, not a Amazonian rain forest people, but to say, native american tribes isolated from mainstream society, who are living in the same basic environment as we do? Apples to apples?  | What are your thoughts? 04-22-2015 1:13pm

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Comment by Brent L Younglove

I wonder how much people's obsession with washing our hands is part of it too. 04-27-2015 3:03am

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Comment by David Dohnal

I think it's quite possible David.  Although sanitation in many ways has been helpful from both a life quality and quantity standpoint, there could be other some cons to which we are just now becoming more aware such as shifts in the microbial systems that are symbiotic to us. 04-27-2015 5:05am

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