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Tracking Microbes People Carry May Predict Future Health

Scientists are getting a close look at how trillions of microbes that normally share our bodies can get out of whack and spur disease. Scientists are getting a close look at how trillions of microbes that normally share our bodies can get out of whack and spur disease. |  Photo: WDIO/MGN

LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer
Updated: May 29, 2019 05:16 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) - Scientists are getting a close look at how trillions of microbes that normally share our bodies can get out of whack and spur disease.
    
Gut bacteria and communities of bacteria, viruses and fungi that live elsewhere in the body are called the microbiome. Researchers don't understand how the bugs keep us healthy or how to fix an unhealthy microbiome.
    
So scientists tracked people with microbiome-related health conditions, such as pregnancy or inflammatory bowel disease. Repeated testing spotted how the microbes' activity can wax and wane, potential early warning signs of trouble like preterm birth.
    
Studies appear Wednesday in Nature and Nature Medicine.
 

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LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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