Humans have developed with and co‑existed with microbes both inside and on the outside of our bodies, and in the environment around us.
But that is changing!
We are competing against the infamous ESKAPE pathogenic bacteria. How and why many bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance (ABR), is well known. The world faces a crisis in overcoming these ESKAPE organisms.
It is a race against time.
New viral species are joining the race, such as HIV, ZIKA, EBOLA, SARS and WEST NILE, to name but a few; and let us not forget the new FLU variants that arrive every few years. At present there is little that can be done stop their march. More of these new viruses are expected to emerge, due to the pressures of urbanization. But we don’t know where this might happen next, or when.
Our bodies have developed through cooperation with many different species of microbes, most of which live in the large bowel and are collectively called the microbiome. These include probiotic or commensal species of bacteria which are linked to health benefits, and other bacteria, termed ‘pathogens’, which may on occasion cause health problems. A healthy microbiome is essential to our health, but dietary changes have created a microbiome in many which is unhealthy, and pro-inflammatory. This condition, called ‘dysbiosis’, has been linked to multiple health problems in the gut and elsewhere in the body.
Bronze medal: Rebalancing and modulating the microbiome, to create a better quality of life.
Silver medal: Protection against existing and novel viruses.
Gold medal: Overcoming infections caused by pathogens no longer susceptible to traditional intervention.