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High throughput sequencing and improved culture technology allow scientists to identify microbes (‘microbiota’) at almost every human body site, including those once deemed sterile. While exciting, this has unfortunately led to companies claiming they can detect aberrations and recommend solutions based on microbiota patterns and poorly reviewed studies published by journals that are more interested in impact, falsely portraying disease linkages and treatment options. Conversely, metabolomic and transcriptomic studies have uncovered microbiota functionality (‘the microbiome’).
These new insights reignited the concept of manipulating the microbiome using probiotic organisms (shown to confer a health benefit on the host). However, some companies make unproven claims, while certain scientists completely misunderstand what a probiotic is. These misconceptions leave public health staff with the unenviable task of identifying fact from fiction so that patients and consumers can make appropriate choices in their health management. This presentation will discuss the best way forward.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Recognize the microbial composition of humans and our ecosystem, in relation to health, disease, food intake and the environment;
- Interpret microbiome studies;
- Identify opportunities to contribute to health policy.
Presenter: Gregor Reid
Gregor Reid ıs a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Surgery at Western University in Ontario. His laboratory at Lawson Health Research Institute carries on the research on beneficial microbes and the human microbiome he started as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Toronto General Hospital in 1982. He has produced 28 patents, 530 publications and given over 600 talks in 54 countries. Dr. Reid received an Honorary Doctorate from Orebro University in Sweden and a Canadian Society for Microbiologists Career Achievement Award which recognized the impact of his work, helping millions of women worldwide with probiotics to improve urogenital health and over 250,000 weekly consumers of locally-made probiotic fermented food in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
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Public Health Ontario Rounds are approved for continuing medical education from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI). For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.
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