NY Scientists First to Link Neurodegenerative Diseases and Bacterial Viruses
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / October 17, 2017 / Alzheimer’s and many other neurodegenerative diseases can be caused by bacteriophages – viruses that infect and replicate within gut microbiota of humans and other mammals, New York based HumanMicrobiology Institute (HMI) announced today. The groundbreaking research findings were reported during an Oral Presentation at the American Society for Microbiology’s gathering at the University of Connecticut. The research project was done in collaboration with NYU scientists and results were recently published in highly reputable Nature’s Scientific Reports.
The in-depth study builds upon previously reported data and further confirms that bacteriophages can produce conditions for developing Alzheimer’s, diabetes and even heart disease, among others. During the presentation, HMI’s lead scientist Dr. George Tetz described bacteriophages as bacterial viruses that live both outside the human body and in the gut environment of mammals. Their presence in the intestines can cause a condition known as the “Leaky Gut Syndrome”, which in turn would trigger an altered immune response and lead to a neuro-inflamation. The increased gut permeability caused by bacteriophages is associated with lower Lactobacillus spp. and Faecalibacterium spp. Levels, which are useful bacteria for mammals, as well as a decrease in levels of other vital bacteria, HMI’s study reveals.
“We are the first research group to demonstrate that bacteriophages can actually cause diseases in humans through the so-called autoimmune component. Previously they were thought to be harmless and solely affecting bacteria; they were not known to contribute to the development of neurogenerative pathologies, which we call a New Group of Human Viral Diseases. We now hope to find new ways to prevent and possibly cure many of these diseases,” said Dr. George Tetz.
NYU Medical Center, which partnered up with Tetz and HMI, is also implicating long-term plausible effects. “HMI scientists have shown for the first time that the impact of bacteriophages may result in increased gut permeability, which is associated with diabetes, Alzheimer’s, autism, heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and others. This could pave the road to further breakthrough research and new discoveries related to the origin of many diseases,” said Adriana Heguy, Ph.D., Professor of Pathology, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Director, Genome Technology Center.
Prior to the current study, Drs. Victor and George Tetz presented their extraordinary findings in an oral session at the world’s largest microbiologist conference, ASM’s Microbe 2017 in New Orleans. The discussion on the dangers of bacteriophages was also featured in a Gut Pathogens article.
About HMI: The Victor and George Tetz Human Microbiology Institute (www.hmi-us.com) is an independent, non-profit research organization that has formed collaborations with a variety of universities, research organizations, hospitals, biotech companies, and other life science organizations to perform breakthrough research to identify novel drug targets and develop innovative technologies, with the ultimate goal of translating these discoveries into human health care.