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Gut microbiota disturbance during helminth infection: can it affect cognition and behaviour of children?

Guernier, Vanina, Brennan, Bradley, Yakob, Laith, Milinovich, Gabriel, Clements, Archie C.A. and Soares Magalhaes, Ricardo J. 2017, Gut microbiota disturbance during helminth infection: can it affect cognition and behaviour of children?, BMC infectious diseases, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-2146-2.

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Title Gut microbiota disturbance during helminth infection: can it affect cognition and behaviour of children?
Author(s) Guernier, VaninaORCID iD for Guernier, Vanina orcid.org/0000-0002-0960-3874
Brennan, Bradley
Yakob, Laith
Milinovich, Gabriel
Clements, Archie C.A.
Soares Magalhaes, Ricardo J.
Journal name BMC infectious diseases
Volume number 17
Issue number 1
Article ID 58
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher Nature
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-01-10
ISSN 1471-2334
Keyword(s) Central nervous system
Development
Gut microbiota
Helminths
Mental health
Microbiota-gut-brain axis
Adolescent
Brain
Child
Child Development
Cognition
Cognitive Dysfunction
Dysbiosis
Gastrointestinal Microbiome
Helminthiasis
Humans
Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Infectious Diseases
ANXIETY-LIKE BEHAVIOR
BRAIN-DEVELOPMENT
IRON-DEFICIENCY
HOST IMMUNITY
MICE
COLONIZATION
HOOKWORM
ANEMIA
GROWTH
AXIS
Summary Background
Bidirectional signalling between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract is regulated at neural, hormonal, and immunological levels. Recent studies have shown that helminth infections can alter the normal gut microbiota. Studies have also shown that the gut microbiota is instrumental in the normal development, maturation and function of the brain. The pathophysiological pathways by which helminth infections contribute to altered cognitive function remain poorly understood.

Discussion
We put forward the hypothesis that gastrointestinal infections with parasitic worms, such as helminths, induce an imbalance of the gut-brain axis, which, in turn, can detrimentally manifest in brain development. Factors supporting this hypothesis are: 1) research focusing on intelligence and school performance in school-aged children has shown helminth infections to be associated with cognitive impairment, 2) disturbances in gut microbiota have been shown to be associated with important cognitive developmental effects, and 3) helminth infections have been shown to alter the gut microbiota structure. Evidence on the complex interactions between extrinsic (parasite) and intrinsic (host-derived) factors has been synthesised and discussed.

Summary
While evidence in favour of the helminth-gut microbiota-central nervous system hypothesis is circumstantial, it would be unwise to rule it out as a possible mechanism by which gastrointestinal helminth infections induce childhood cognitive morbidity. Further empirical studies are necessary to test an indirect effect of helminth infections on the modulation of mood and behaviour through its effects on the gut microbiota.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12879-016-2146-2
Field of Research 0605 Microbiology
1103 Clinical Sciences
1108 Medical Microbiology
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30111846

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Medicine
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.