The human microbiome is the set of genes of the microorganisms present in our body. This set of microorganisms is called microbiota (also known as microbial flora), and is composed mainly of bacteria, viruses and fungi. In general, the bacterial human microbiome is predominant and has greater influence on health. More than a hundred thousand billion bacteria inhabit the human organism. Although these figures have not been accurately estimated, it is now known that millions of bacteria play an essential role in the regulation of numerous physiological processes. Among these processes, it is worth highlighting the activity of digestive enzymes, the synthesis of B vitamins, the interaction with the immune system and protection against pathogenic organisms.
The total microbiome is made up of the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract, nasopharynx, skin, vagina, etc., since microorganisms exist in all the organs and systems of the human body.
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According to the World Health Organization, probiotics are live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, are beneficial to the health of the host. That is why, in order for a microorganism to qualify as a probiotic, it is essential to demonstrate scientifically that it produces beneficial effects for our health.
In principle, any component of the microbiota could be a candidate to become a probiotic, since all of them potentially participate in the benefits that the set provides. However, in practice many probiotics come from ferments traditionally used in food fermentation and belong mainly to two microbial groups: lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. The reason for this is that they are probably the only ones, among those that colonize our mucous membranes, that are innocuous in any circumstance and that do not include pathogenic strains within the species to which they belong.
There are several requirements that must be met, to a greater or lesser extent, by a microorganism intended to be used as a probiotic:
- That it generates antimicrobial substances.
- That it is resistant to the conditions of the target cavity and to those of the others through which it must pass.
- Absence of resistance transmissible to antibiotics
- That it is easily cultivable and does not lose viability during storage.
- Activity in vitro after the clinical trial, necessary to certify expectations derived from its good in vitro properties.
Antibiotics act by killing the pathogenic bacteria, or preventing them from reproducing, to fight bacterial infections. Although in general they are beneficial in the restoration of health, antibiotics can also destroy beneficial bacteria for our organism, some of which live in the digestive tract, which can cause diarrhoea, digestive disorders in general, fungal infections or causing weaken the immune system.
This is why, in Bioithas, an essential line of work that differentiates us from other biotechnology companies in the sector is the area of probiotic and antibiotic studies. The resistance to antibiotics in the future is an important consideration, and probiotics will play a significant role in this field.
The R & D staff in Bioithas have the experience and know-how concerning infectious diseases and the microbiology and are of reputed international prestige. Having staff with this experience in a small biotechnology company is fundamental for Bioithas and we are sure that this added value will bear fruit from the first months until the company is established.
This is the name given to non-digestible compounds, present in the diet, that stimulate the growth or the activity of the autochthonous microorganisms, resulting in benefits for our health.
Although the definition does not refer to any specific microbial group, it seems clear that the intention is to favor the development of bifidobacteria, many of which present in their genomes the determinants necessary to degrade various complex carbohydrates. Therefore, it is likely that all the colonic microbiota will benefit from the contribution. We must remember that only the waste of our own digestion reaches the large intestine, which makes that fluid poor in nutrients. The immediate effect of the arrival of these compounds is the proliferation of indigenous microbiota, which would act against foreign microorganisms and contribute to the mucosa reestablishing itself, for example, after treatment with antibiotics. It should also be taken into account that prebiotics are fermented (the microbiota of the colon is fundamentally anaerobic and there is practically no oxygen in the intestine), which will generate short-chain fatty acids, H2 and CO2. Fatty acids will presumably inhibit the growth of neighboring bacteria with pathogenic potential, and are also used as nutrients by enterocytes and will neutralize the ammonium groups generated by deamination of various nutrients, including amino acids. This effect is crucial to avoid the encephalopathy that accompanies liver diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis and the early stages of post-transplant recovery.
This is the name given to the mixture of one or more probiotic organisms with one or more prebiotic compounds.
The objective of symbiotics is to favour the development / activity of the probiotics and prebiotic components to enhance their health properties, generating a synergistic effect between them. This implies that a product can only be called symbiotic if it has been shown to induce a beneficial effect superior to that of the sum of those generated, separately, by its members. Additionally, it is expected that this improvement will be accompanied by an increase in the density of the component probiotics or the healthy activities to which they give rise.
A biomarker is a substance or part of a molecule or DNA that is used as an indicator of a biological state.
This biomarker can be part of a diagnostic kit so that its use would give information about the clinical situation of a patient in terms of a specific disease and the risk of relapse, lack of response to treatment or poor evolution.
Based on the clinical and laboratory data from the Bioithas R + D and laboratory departments and associated medical and biotechnological companies for this line of research, we have the possibility of developing different kits validated in research studies.
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Biomarkers and diagnostic kits can provide relevant information about the personalized treatment that a patient needs. Their use is becoming more widespread in infectious and tumor/ inflammatory pathology in resulting in personalized treatments that increase the likelihood of therapeutic success.