New Discovery by MICHR-Supported Researcher Could Change ICU Care

No one knows for sure how they got there. But the discovery that bacteria that normally live in the gut can be detected in the lungs of critically ill people and animals could mean a lot for intensive care patients.

Scientists are reporting that they found gut bacteria in the deepest reaches of failing lungs -- an environment where they normally aren’t found and can’t survive. The more severe the patients’ critical illness, the more their usual lung bacteria were outnumbered by the misplaced gut bugs.

Their conclusion: critical illness involving the lungs has more to do with disruptions to the body’s natural population of microbes, or microbiome, than previously thought.

The findings, published in Nature Microbiology, were made by U-M team led by Robert Dickson, M.D. MICHR provided Pilot Grant funding for the study.

Read the full UMHS article.