When the microbes in our gut are changed, it can affect our health and susceptibility to disease. At the next Beer with a Scientist, two University of Louisville researchers will help us understand how altered microbiota can influence immunity based on their research into the relationship of Clostridium difficile to the gut and human immune system. They also will discuss recent work on the gut and immunity related to COVID-19.
Bruce Yacyshyn, professor of medicine in the UofL Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and James Collins, assistant professor in the UofL Department of Microbiology and Immunology, will share some of their findings on the role of gut immunity, or how the gastrointestinal tract responds to its environment, including microbes and other environmental challenges. They will explain the role of altered gut immunity in gut-centered disease such as inflammatory bowel disease, C. difficile and infectious diarrhea, as well as its potential role in diseases not centered in the gut, such as COVID-19, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
“Our gut microbiota plays a role in our daily lives in both positive and negative ways,” Collins said. “The microbiota can be shaped and adapted to the food we eat. In the case of C. difficile, a common hospital-associated, disease-causing bacteria, introducing a novel sugar to the diet may have aided the emergence and spread of two now-common – and severe disease-causing – groups of C. difficile.”
Collins and Yacyshyn also will discuss their current study of how a common medication available for more than 100 years, bismuth subsalicylate, may be effective against COVID-19.
The event will air via Facebook Live from Holsopple Brewing beginning at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20. As in the in-person versions of Beer with a Scientist, the 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session using Facebook comments.
To participate in the event, visit the Louisville Underground Science Facebook page Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.
The presentation also will be aired live on the Holsopple Brewing Facebook page.