बैक्टीरिया हमारा दुश्मन या दोस्त...! Bacteria foe or friend

Author : Dr. P. D.GUPTA

(Former Director Grade Scientist, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India)


The human body is inhabited by millions of tiny living organisms, which, all together, are called the human microbiota.  Microbiota which inhibit in/on the human body composed of virus, bacteria, fungus and other minute organisms. Bacteria are microbes found on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and especially in the gut in many animals including humans. We acquire these bacteria during birth and the first years of life, and they live with us throughout our lives even after death. The biggest populations of microbes reside in the gut. Other popular habitats include the skin, eyes  and genitals. The microbial cells and their genetic material, the microbiome, live with humans from birth.

Figure is showing different types of bacteria obtained from gut of a normal healthy person.

Bacterial toxins can destroy tumours and can also be used for bacterial‐based cancer vaccines. Genetically modified bacteria can be used for selective tumour targeting as well as bacterial gene‐directed enzyme used as drug for cancer therapy. The gut microbiota has been implicated in cancer and shown to modulate anticancer drug efficacy. Altered gut microbiota is associated with resistance to chemo drugs or immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), whereas supplementation of distinct bacterial species restores responses to the anticancer drugs 

Bacterial infections traditionally have not been considered major causes of cancer. Recently, however, bacteria have been linked to cancer by two mechanisms: induction of chronic inflammation and production of carcinogenic bacterial metabolites.

How do we get microbiota?  

Newly born babies generally acquire intestinal microbial communities within the first week of life with relative equilibrium reached within the first year. Infants delivered via caesarean birth have higher rates of infections by environmentally acquired microbes rather than from mother.  All new born babies get their microbiota from mothers at the time of birth though some scientists believe that there is an exposure of microbiota to the preterm baby in order to felicitate to develop immune system. The delivery method influences infants' microbial makeup.  

Figure showing balance between Disease causing and Health maintaining microbes. If we want to remain healthy we should always maintain balance in both the categories. (The author has his own study and views)