Childhood undernutrition, the gut microbiota, and microbiota-directed therapeutics

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Science  24 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6293, pp. 1533
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad9359

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  • RE: Undernutrition and the gut microbiota
    • Silvio Pitlik, Physician, Weizmann Institute of Science
    • Other Contributors:
      • Nina Pitlik, Pharmacologist, Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College

    Natural consolidation of a robust microbiota is a longstanding and complex process resulting in an highly diversified and resilient microbial community. In sharp contrast, significant perturbations of these optimally functioning ecological niches may result from acute and aggressive factors such as the administration of a very short course of antibiotics. Repair of a perturbed microbiota is almost always an unreachable goal, as demonstrated by frequent failure of probiotics in a myriad of clinical situations. We believe that a deep understanding of the intimate mechanisms of the perturbation microbiota in childhood undernutrition may help in the prevention of this horrible and ubiquitous problem rather than in its cure once it has been developed.

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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