Is Tropism Dead?
Day One: Friday, September 30, 2022 | 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM MT
Tropism- is it still relevant? Infection specificity still exists but will pathogen infections only affect particular hosts and/or tissues? Theoretically, humankind and our microbiome co-evolve; so, many things change as our environment and diet changes. Strain shifts and lateral gene transfer (HGT) may change more than that one species. One particular pathogen, or on the other hand, one particular probiotic may dramatically alter a microbiome or specific biofilm. In addition, the changes in the hologenome seem to be the ongoing driver for evolution.
There was a common ancestor to both bacteria and viruses- viruses became simpler and bacteria more complex- and that started 3.5 billion years ago. We now have 39 trillion microbial guests living on us and in us, making us a huge cruise boat, with a substantial list of passengers (commensals), unruly passengers (pathobionts), probiotics (crew), and an occasional pathogen (pirate).
Amongst the pathogens is a “keystone” bacteria species that has become the ultimate guerrilla, capable of sabotaging our immune defenses and even hijacking our own cells for their protection and proliferation. These “keystone” pathogens are particularly virulent when they involve one of the ”Gateway” microbiomes. The oral microbiome is perhaps the most important “Gateway” microbiome and is now linked to the gut microbiome, faulty blood brain barrier, compromised immune functions and ultimately, the skin microbiome.