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Viruses in your Mucus

The Russians have known about phages and used them to treat severe infections since the 1930's. New research shows that lots of phages live in mucus. Wherever there is mucus there is likely to be a large population of phages--including mucus produced by other species such as sea coral, plants, etc.

Phages are viruses that use bacterial cells to replicate in. They can also insert new DNA into bacteria, and they are able to evolve quickly enough to keep up with changing resistance patterns. Big Pharma is not putting any money toward phage research because phage therapy would compete with antibiotic sales, and as we know, for them, the bottom line IS the bottom line. They want us to think that phages are dangerous. But according to Dr Mercola a normal human produces approximately a quart of mucus (snot) daily in the upper respiratory tract, most of which we swallow. So we are phage central already.

NORMAL
we are covered in microbes
immune system keeps them from invading where they don't belong
and they keep each other in balance

NEW STUDY
new study from San Diego State University on mucus
May 20, 2013 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

MUCUS
where: mouth, nose, eyelids, digestive tract, lungs and other organs
produce about a quart of mucus each day from your nose, throat and sinus, most of which you swallow
mucus is not just a physical flush or lubricant; it's full of viruses

BACTERIOPHAGES
present in large numbers in "virtually all" mucus samples
not so many in neighboring tissue or where there is no mucus
saliva: 5 phages/ 1 bacterium
gum mucosa: 40/1

phages invade bacteria, hijacking their genetic code in order to replicate
most phages have hollow heads containing DNA or RNA, and tunnel tails that bind their targets
phages can insert their DNA into a bacterium’s genome rather than killing it (can protect vs other phages)

Once a phage has attached itself to a bacterium:
“The viral DNA is then injected through the tail into the host cell, where it directs the production of progeny phages, often over a hundred in half an hour. These "young" phages burst from the host cell (killing it) and infect more bacteria.” (phages.org)

SEA CORAL MAKES MUCUS
mucus can be found throughout the animal kingdom, from fish to worms to sea coral
coral spends sig energy producing and maintaining a prodigious layer of surface slime

phages bind complex (bottlebrush) sugar molecules in the slime, anchoring them
certain bacteria turn surface slime into a germ-fighting medicine for corals

According to Science News:
“Corals appear to craft their slimy coatings at least in part to encourage visits by particular families of microbial guests. Ecologists have even begun referring to the welcomed hordes of bacteria, viruses, and more that shelter in the mucus films as integral elements of the coral system... Like the bacteria that occupy the human gut, the flora that colonizes surface slime can offer health benefits to reef builders. Conversely, an absence of these microbes, caused by stress or environmental change, could leave corals vulnerable to disease.”

Q: do we somehow select the phages that we carry? is the relationship symbiotic?

Gut bacteria (E. faecalis) have been observed creating phages to use as weapons against closely related bacteria that might consume shared resources. Researchers have called this a form of “bacterial warfare.”

NEW TREATMENT POSSIBILITIES
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
IBD sufferers have severely disrupted gut biota with different dominant species than healthy people
causes damage to mucosal lining of gut

TREATING INFECTIONS
Bacteriophages have been used to treat a variety of bacterial infections
are considered safe
more clinical trials will be needed before we will use them in the West
barriers to use: lack of published research and lack of interest by pharmaceutical companies
(ABX are more profitable)

HISTORY
1921 first reported use of phages for combating infectious disease, France
1930's Stalin brought phage therapy to the Soviet Union to help Communist troops ward off dysentery
Phages have been used to cure plant diseases.
Used successfully against diphtheria, tetanus, gangrene, scarlet fever, meningococcus, Salmonella and Shigella.

Hospitals in the Republic of Georgia are spraying operating rooms with phages before surgeries to reduce the risk of infection, dousing both the air and surgical instruments

Phages combat antibacterial resistance because they adapt to morphing bacteria, (ABX don’t)
Acne, MRSA
Next: CRE.

GERMOPHOBIA
maybe germophobia has done us more harm than good
the hygiene hypothesis: child raised in a “sterile” environment is vulnerable to disease later in life
atopy, autoimmune disease
without germ exposure, symbiosis with phages does not develop
Mercola thinks it could be causative in: chronic inflammation, autoimmune dz, allergies, depression, heart dz

AVOID BEING OVERLY HYGIENIC
cautious selective vaccination
avoid unnecessary abx
let your kids get dirty, eat boogers
use soap and water: avoid antibacterial soap and household products
eat organic, local meat that does not contain abx

SOURCE
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/26/mucus-phages.aspx

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