microbiology

Novel bioengineered probiotics increase colonization and persistence in the gut enhancing bioavailability and their therapeutic potential for inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a major global health burden and the rapid surge in pediatric cases in Canada over the past decade is raising alarm bells. Current pharmaceutical therapies are risky or ineffective, cost and health-wise, especially for long-term use and are associated with severe side effects. Therefore, new alternative therapies for IBD are needed urgently. Probiotic therapy, which is the ingestion of non-pathogenic microorganisms to provide health benefits, is considered a potential treatment option.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating components of a Campylobacter jejuni iron uptake system to inform antimicrobial strategies.

Campylobacteriosis is an infectious diarrheal disease and one of the largest contributors to hospitalizations and deaths from food poisoning in Canada and worldwide. It is usually caused by consumption of food or water contaminated by the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni, resulting in watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, and serious post-infectious illnesses. This illness is especially dangerous for very young or old people, made worse by lack of a vaccine and increasing frequency of infections that are resistant to treatment by current antibiotics. A recent WHO report identified C.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Microbial control of gut environment in IBD

Gut health is closely connected to our microbiota, a unique, constantly evolving, group of trillions of bacteria that live in our bodies. Gut microbes produce compounds that are absorbed into our blood, providing nourishment and also affecting the gut environment. The digestive tract is composed of many different local areas, called habitats, in which physical and chemical properties such as water availability, salt concentration, acidity or temperature are tightly controlled by human-microbe interactions.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Therapeutic efficacy of a novel enteral nutrition strategy in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic, relapsing inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, and includes Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

The gold standard induction therapy for treating active pediatric CD is “exclusive enteral nutrition” (EEN), which is a nutritionally complete liquid diet provided by tube feeding that excludes normal food intake. This nutritional strategy is superior to standard induction therapies; however, treatment must be maintained for 6-12 weeks to induce remission, and relapse rates are high after stopping EEN.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Overcoming antibiotic resistance with anti-biofilm peptides

Antibiotics are arguably the most important and successful medicines. However, the frequent growth of bacteria as biofilms, bacterial communities that grow on surfaces in a protective matrix, is of great concern. Biofilms account for two thirds of all clinical infections and are especially difficult to treat with conventional antibiotics. They are a serious problem in trauma patients with major injuries, as well as individuals with implanted medical devices.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Gene clusters and natural products from the human microbiota

Worldwide, prematurity is the leading cause of death for all infants, with almost one million deaths per year. Babies born before 32 weeks face the worst odds. These babies are only 2% of births, but they account for over 1/3 of all infant deaths. For these infants, a disease called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) can be one of the most deadly complications of prematurity after the first week of life. NEC is an acquired condition in which intestinal tissue suddenly becomes inflamed and then begins to die off.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

Characterizing the interactions between attaching and effacing pathogens and the gastrointestinal microbiota

Diarrheal illnesses remain a major cause of sickness and death worldwide, killing approximately 760,000 children under the age of five each year. This project seeks to better understand one major cause: bacteria known as attaching and effacing (A/E) pathogens.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015

Alteration of intestinal microbiota composition and function by co-trimoxazole use and the effect of these changes on growth in HIV-infected children

Malnutrition in early life underlies almost half of all child deaths globally and has long-term negative effects on education and productivity. HIV infection further compounds these effects in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends daily use of the antibiotic co-trimoxazole (CTX) to prevent infections in HIV-infected children.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2015
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