UF Scientists: Gut Microbe Finding in Mice May Help Protect Pregnant Women From Malaria (UF Health Newsroom)

UF Scientists: Gut Microbe Finding in Mice May Help Protect Pregnant Women From Malaria

A team led by University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine scientists reports that microbes living inside the intestines of pregnant mice more reliably predict susceptibility to, and severity of, malaria infection than do genetics — a finding they say may have implications for assessing pregnancy risk, and even outcomes, in vulnerable human populations.

“We’ve identified bacteria that can reduce the severity of the infection, which also translated into better pregnancy outcomes,” said lead researcher Julie M. Moore, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the college’s department of infectious diseases and immunology. “That’s the feel-good part of this research. If this ends up being something we can introduce into human populations, we’re saving babies.”           

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