Researchers have recently studied a new bacterium known as Subdoligranulum that's nearly absent in obese and diabetic people while found in healthy individuals.
The study, "Dysosmobacter welbionis is a newly isolated human commensal bacterium preventing diet-induced obesity and metabolic disorders in mice," published in the Gut journal, was conducted by researcher Patrice Cani of the University of Louvain in Belgium.
The research is funded by the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (National Fund for Scientific Research).
According to the study, the bacterium is the only cultivated strain of this bacterial family that exists, the only identified member of a large family.
This is not rare, considering that almost 70 percent of bacteria found in the intestine have not yet been identified. This, Medical Xpress reported, is called "the dark matter of the intestine."
The New Bacterium
Knowing the bacterium is found only in healthy people, Cani and co-researchers set out in 2015 to isolate the bacterium to learn about its effects on the human body.
For two years, the scientists looked for, isolated and cultivated almost 600 bacteria from the intestine in an attempt to discover a second member of the family -- without success.
Rather, the UCLouvain researchers unveiled a formerly unknown bacterium. Such an achievement is already extraordinary in itself as only few scientists have the opportunity in their careers to find a new genus of microbes.
Because of the smell of the new bacterium, the researchers called it "Dysosmobacter welbionis: Dysosmo," which, according to EurekAlert!, means "bad smell" bacter or bacterium, and Welbinois for the Walloon Excellence in Lifesciences and Biotechnology or WELBIO, which funded the study.
The bacterium is unique. To begin with, it yields butyrate. Many other bacteria generate this molecule, which is known to boost immunity and lessen the risk of colon cancer by strengthening the intestinal barrier.
Less Present in Diabetic People
The researchers observed that Dysosmobacter welbionis was less apparent among those who have type 2 diabetes.
By analyzing 12,000 fecal samples from all over the world, the UCLouvain researchers observed that the bacterium is present in 70 percent of populations.
The question of why the bacterium has never been previously discovered has now arisen. Part of the answer, the study said, perhaps lies in the enhanced cultivation techniques the team developed.
The team, which included doctoral student Emilie Moens de Hase and post-doctoral fellow Tiphaine Le Roy, then looked at the action of Dysosmobacter welbionis in mice.
They found that the bacteria increased the number of mitochondria, and thus, decreased weight and sugar levels, on top of exerting strong anti-inflammatory effects.
The results are promising for people who are obese and have type 2 diabetes, resembling those of the so-called Akkermansia described by the National Library of Medicine as a beneficial bacterium that is at the center of Cani's laboratory research.
Effects Not Limited to the Gut
The effects of the bacteria are not limited to the gut. The researchers discovered that certain molecules travel through the body and have similar if distant effects.
The result is promising and perhaps explains the effects of the bacteria on the fat tissue. It also opens the doors for a possible effect on other illnesses like cancer and inflammation. This is presently being studied by the research team.
The next step for the team is to test the Dysosmobacter welbionis paired with that of Akkermansia in order to find out if they have probable benefits for persons with type 2 diabetes, obesity, inflammatory diseases and cancer.
The new bacterium is shown on InGutWeTrust's YouTube video below:
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