Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Hill, C
Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism
Microbiome and Infection: A Case for "Selective Depletion"
WOS: 1 ()
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In most instances where a pathogen has initiated an infection, the primary goal of the treating physician or pharmacist is to eliminate the pathogen. In the absence of knowledge of the precise identity of the problem-causing microbe, a broad-spectrum antimicrobial gives the best chance of success. This approach has saved many lives and is an invaluable tool in fighting infections. However, perhaps our current appreciation of the importance of the microbiome in human health should give us pause. We can regard the microbiome as a virtual organ within the human body, and we would surely hesitate to advance any therapeutic approach that would cause substantial damage to one of our organs. This is one consequence of many broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapies. There may be instances where a more precise approach would be useful. I have termed this "selective depletion"; a concept where pathogen numbers are curtailed by a narrow-spectrum inhibitor but the microbiome is protected and can play a role in restoring health and suppressing the outgrowth of the pathogen in the infected patient. It may well be that the best reservoir of microbiome-friendly antimicrobial agents is the microbiome itself, and I provide examples of where the microbiome has been mined for novel precision antimicrobials. (C) 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel
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